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Honda F1 It's good to be home

08.10.2019: F1 2019 Round 17 Japanese GP - Setup A truly special race for us and the team. As always, the run up to the Japanese Grand Prix is a busy one for us, introducing Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing to our team across the country.

F1 2019 Round 17 Japanese GP - Setup


 
 A truly special race for us and the team. As always, the run up to the Japanese Grand Prix is a busy one for us, introducing Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing to our team across the country.
 



Last year saw a stand out performance on the Saturday, qualifying 6th and 7th. However after the promise of the session, we were left with a difficult race, ultimately ending with both cars finishing outside the top 10. A disappointing end to what promised to be a strong weekend.



The unique figure of 8 layout compliments the fast-flowing circuit, requiring a finely balanced set up to tackle corners such as the iconic 130R - taken at over 300kph. Incredible fans engulf the track all weekend, with arguably the best attire you'll see all year! From the moments the gates open in the morning to when they close at the end of the day, expect a sea of blue wherever you look.
 
 


 
Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda Racing F1   


“Everyone at Honda is looking forward to our home race and I think the majority of people in F1 also consider Suzuka to be one of the great race tracks of the world, which usually makes for an exciting weekend. The circuit is very demanding and challenging for the drivers and also for the engineers, when it comes to setting up every aspect of the car-PU-tire package.



“For our home race, there will also be an interesting flypast just before the start, when a Honda Jet will fly down the main straight above the Formula 1 cars on Sunday. The HA-420 HondaJet is a twin-engined, seven seater light business jet, which has been a great success thanks to its light weight and excellent fuel efficiency with its innovatively unique engine mounting configuration.



“The engineers from this cutting-edge product have been involved in our F1 project and their contribution has resulted in a drastic improvement of our Turbine and MGU-H in terms of both reliability and performance in the past few years. It's going to be good to see these two examples of Honda technology on and above the track at the same time.



“As usual, our competitors will be very strong, therefore we don't think it will be an easy weekend. However, we will be doing our very best with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso to have a good race here in Japan.”
 
 



Pierre Gasly
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda   


“The Russian Grand Prix weekend wasn't the best for me, but I did think I could get some points until the VSC spoilt our strategy, as I'd already made my pitstop. However, I still feel as though things are going in the right direction so I am excited about the next race in Suzuka.



“This is one of the best tracks of the year, the most exciting in terms of driving. I reckon it has the best first sector of any circuit we visit, because it is a section where you get a real feel for what a Formula 1 car can do in terms of its speed and the aerodynamic downforce it has. On top of that, it's old-school with the gravel traps which mean you really can't afford to make a mistake or your race is over. It's definitely one of my favorites and it holds many memories too, from when I was racing in the Japanese Super Formula series, but also, each time I'm at Suzuka, my thoughts are of course always with Jules (Bianchi) because of what happened there. It's a Grand Prix that always generates strong emotions.



“There's another way in which this is one of the best Grands Prix, as it's here that I have always had so much support from the fans. It's heart-warming and a pleasure to see so many fans cheering us on. Being a Honda driver in Suzuka is really special because all the Japanese give you a lot of support. It's impressive and I'm keen to get back there. Last year, we toured several Honda factories and we also visited some this time before the race weekend. I was really struck by the strength of everyone's support for us and this year, with two teams using Honda PUs, Toro Rosso and Red Bull, I'm sure there will be an even bigger crowd. I think it's going to be a really special weekend.”
 
 



Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda   



“I enjoyed being in Russia because it's always special racing in front of your home fans, although it turned out to be a difficult weekend on track. I can be pleased with the way things went in the actual race, to finish twelfth after starting from the back proved we recovered well and were competitive. So I am taking those positive aspects into the next round in Japan, a race that is always one of the highlights of the season.



“I think Suzuka is a remarkable track. It is a high-speed circuit with some truly legendary corners. I'd say it's a track for the brave and corners like the Esses near the beginning of the lap, Degner 1 and Degner 2, the 130R on the way in, are all still a huge challenge, especially in the wet. That's why the drivers love this track as it sets the benchmark for how fast you can go in the highspeed corners. It's very cool and a matter of pride for us drivers to get these corners right. It is also enjoyable from an actual racing point of view as there are some opportunities for overtaking. It means that, over the years, the circuit has produced some great races.




“The atmosphere at the circuit is great and the Japanese fans make it truly unique. For us at Toro Rosso, it's a very special race because we are powered by Honda, so it will be a bit like a home race for the whole Red Bull family. It will make it a very exciting weekend with all the support from the local fans. I hope we can put on a really good show for them. Unfortunately, since I first raced at this track, back in 2014, I've never scored points so it's definitely time to score some this weekend and to do so with Honda would be special.”
 
 


Alexander Albon
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing   



"I'm really excited for Suzuka as it's going to be my first Japanese Grand Prix. I have raced at the track once before but only in karts, so I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like in an F1 car. The main circuit looks really fun and it's the track I've been looking forward to most this year. This is obviously a big weekend for us as it's Honda's home race so we're hoping for a good result for the fans.


We were in Tokyo at the beginning of the year and already I could feel a lot of support from the locals. I remember hearing about how passionate the fans are but I still couldn't believe the amount of people that we met and the gifts we received.



Max said to me it was nothing compared to what we see and experience at the Grand Prix, so I'm getting my signing pens at the ready! Last time out in Russia, it was a good comeback from the pit lane to finish P5, but hopefully I can have a smoother weekend and a better starting position so I can fight towards the front."
 



 
Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing   


“I'm really looking forward to going back to Suzuka as it's a special place for me. I made my Formula One debut there in a practice session when I had just turned 17 and it's a memory I'll never forget. I've had a lot of good results at Suzuka with second and third place podiums but never a win, so obviously we would love to go one step higher. It's a lot of fun to drive and I really enjoy it, but I also love Suzuka in general.


The circuit is very historic and also very narrow and fast, so it's important to use all of the track. You need to find the right balance and have a good flow between Turns 3, 4, 5 & 6 because if you take one corner wrong, you're in the wrong position for the next sequence. Ferrari will be very strong as they have so much power and will be fast on the straights but our car will be quick in the corners so hopefully we can gain some time there.



The Japanese fans are very passionate about the sport and it's always great to see so many of them at the track supporting us, but this year's Japanese Grand Prix will be even more special as we are with Honda for their home race. We've had some great results with Honda already this year and it won't be easy at Suzuka but we will of course deliver the best performance possible for the Japanese fans.”
 
 
 



 
 Honda Motor Co.,photos Red Bull
 
 

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08.10.2019 / MaP

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