Marussia Virgin Racing Japanese Grand Prix Preview

Suzuka Circuit, Japan, 7-9 October 2011

“Japan has always held a special place in the hearts of the F1 teams and drivers. It’s a fantastic driver’s circuit – one of the classics – and the enthusiasm of the fans is incredible. The F1 fraternity was heartbroken to see the devastation caused by the earthquake and Tsunami eight months ago and the widespread suffering as a result, so our return there this year will be all the more poignant.”says John Booth, Marussia Virgin Racing’s Team Principal and Director of Racing.

“Suzuka is one of the driver’s favourite tracks on the calendar and it’s easy to understand why. It’s a very challenging and technical circuit with frequent directional changes. Two critical points are the S-turns, a flowing combination of five corners where it is important to get the entry right; and the Spoon Curve, a double left taken as one, where it is crucial to find the perfect line and carry momentum into the following straight.

“We are in that final phase of the season now where the races are just flying by – it’s hard to believe there are only five remaining. Jérôme enjoyed a strong race in Singapore and will be looking to harness that momentum I’m sure. Timo will be keen to make up for the disappointment of having to retire early in the race at one of his favourite tracks.”

“I look forward to driving again at this very fast circuit. It was disappointing for my race to end so early in Singapore and not be able to help the team. This means I look forward to the Japanese Grand Prix even more and I’m now 100% focused on the weekend ahead.”says Timo Glock, Race Driver #24.“Suzuka is such a fun and challenging circuit, I really enjoy racing here. The figure-of-eight layout is really unique and with the Spoon Curve and high-speed 130R corner, it’s a really demanding circuit with a thrilling fast-flowing lap, similar to circuits like Silverstone or Spa. 130R is one of the fastest corners in Formula One and you really have to think about how you approach it – it’s a real buzz to take the corner carrying so much speed.

“I’ve been back to Europe in the break to continue to work on my fitness for the long-haul races, which means a lot of cycling in Switzerland of course. The next two races, being back to back, are tough ones for the team so I’m as prepared as I can be to support us with what I hope can be two strong race performances.”

“I would say that my last race in Singapore was my toughest race ever but I was happy with the result and it was an important accomplishment for me in my racing career. I hope I can have a few more like that in the remaining races of the season.”says Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25.

“I think Suzuka is one of the best race tracks on the Formula One calendar. It’s challenging, fast and very technical - everything we hope for in a race track. Last year I had the chance to drive during the first Free Practice session in Japan and I think the first sector is the highlight of the lap; the Esses are incredible and it’s tough to keep the right line. There are also a couple of low-speed corners and a chicane where you have very heavy braking. Overall the layout of the circuit is sensational and I can’t wait to race here.

“I’ve been back home in the break – first to Belgium and then back to the UK - so I can keep up my training as this will be important for all the travel, different time zones and temperatures in the last five Grands Prix.”