Carlos Sainz: I really like Japan! The first thing that comes to my mind are the amazing fans there… I enjoy driving into the track every morning and seeing them all waiting to cheer us on. They are always so fun and respectful at the same time.
Daniil Kvyat: I agree with you… They are amazing! And the second thing that comes to mind is the delicious sushi! I really like it!
CS: Yeah, me too, I love it! There are some good places too, do you normally go there?
DK: Yes, I go many times to eat sushi in London!
CS: No, but I mean in Suzuka, do you eat sushi when you go to Japan!?
DK: Ahhhh yes, yes, also in Suzuka! There’s a really nice typical sushi bar there – you should ask your engineer about it! [Carlos’ race engineer used to be Daniil’s back in 2014]
CS: Yes, he already took me there last year… I remember it was very good! Anyway, so we know that in Japan there’s great fans, delicious sushi, also great meat…
DK: Stop it, you’re making me hungry!
CS: Let’s talk a bit about the circuit now then. I’d say it’s a special one.
DK: Yes, one of the legendary ones, I’d say.
CS: In my list of ‘top tracks’ I think it’s probably up there with Spa and Silverstone. It’s an amazing layout.
DK: I’d also say that it’s actually tighter than what it looks like on TV, especially the esses [Turns 3 to 6], it’s very narrow there and you only have one line to take, so you have to get everything perfect.
CS: Last year was my rookie year and when I discovered the track and the fact that it goes up and down hill so much, I was impressed. It reminds me of a narrow English track, those where the grass is always very close to you and it’s one of the most challenging. I think that Sector 1 is top level!
DK: We give it a 10 out of 10, right?
CS: Yes, for sure.
DK: I like Turn 8, it’s quite a high-speed one!
CS: Yes, we drive through there in 6th gear, maybe even 7th…
DK: We have to be very committed through there!
CS: I also remember that last year in the wet we were both very quick there, eh? You were first in FP2 and I was first in FP1.
DK: Yes, We love the wet and we were both quite quick! We were getting some TV time, so that’s good! I also had a good barrel roll at Turn 10 last year… I think I was struggling with jet lag and no sleep… I just put my rear wheel on the grass and then I hit the wall… It wasn’t a nice feeling!
CS: A strange part of the track is the hairpin [Turn 11]. There’s not just one line to take…
DK: Yes, you need to improvise a bit all the time. Actually, this corner in the wet can be quite challenging. Then we also have the Spoon [Turns 13 and 14], which is very good to train your neck!
CS: Especially because it’s an anti-clockwise track, so we use the side of the neck that’s not as strong. It’s also a very strange corner… Well, thinking about it, every corner is strange here, you need plenty of laps to understand the circuit completely and be consistent.
DK: Yes, there are many corners that you don’t find at any other track and that’s why it’s so particular and nice to drive. And I think that the 130R is great fun to drive in the wet.
CS: I nearly did it flat out last year!
DK: But not completely…
DK: And finally the last chicane is all about kerb riding…
CS: …And tricky traction on exit. So yes, all in all, a very nice place to go racing. See you there!
Enjoy Japan, guys, and go easy on the sushi!
Full Prixview, with our drivers’ exclusive hand-written circuit map notes, HERE.