Drivers all excited about Suzuka

Ahead of this weekend's F1 race in Suzuka, several drivers admitted their excitement about being in Japan.

Motorsport News: Suzuka

With Japan may be still recovering from the earthquake and tsunami that hit their earlier this year, that has not diminished the affection that the drivers in F1 have for the Suzuka racetrack.

Speaking to F1's official website, Ferrari's Filipe Massa revealed: "Suzuka is a track I really like and it is up there with Spa in terms of enjoyment, mainly because there are a lot of high speed corners which are very challenging and enjoyable when you get it right.

"There's a real mix, as there are also some slow corners in the middle section and the Esses after the first corner, where you need a car to change direction very quickly and where you can make up or lose a lot of time", the Brazilian added.

The driver also gave an insight towards how his fellow colleagues felt about being in Japan.

"I am happy to be going to Japan: I have heard that some of the MotoGP riders wanted to boycott their Japanese GP, which takes place at a circuit which is nearer to the Fukushima nuclear plant, but we need to consider that Suzuka is in a completely different part of the country", Massa said.

The Ferrari driver also gave kudos to the fans in Japan for their adoration, saying: "The Japanese fans are among the best in the world: on a Thursday when there is no on-track action, even if it is raining, they will sit in the grandstands to see what is going on in pit lane.

"You can feel the love they have for the sport and I am looking forward to being there together with them."

Current points leader Sebastian Vettel, who needs only one more point to wrap up his second championship, was just as effusive about Suzuka.

"Suzuka is one of my favourite tracks; it really couldn't have been built any better", the German praised.

"The first sector up to the Degner Curve is the most spectacular and challenging of the whole season. The 130R is legendary; it's great fun to drive straight through this left-hand bend. I'm not the only one who loves this track and our car normally loves it too.

Vettel also praised the Japanese fans, saying: "The fans in Japan are special. What they have been through in recent times is something I cannot begin to imagine, but they are so impressive.

"They are extremely patient and always polite and friendly and their stamina is amazing. I hope we can put on a good show for them this weekend."

Team-mate Mark Webber concurred, saying:  "After the massive tragedy that happened in Japan earlier this year, it's nice to be part of something that people can hopefully look forward to. The Japanese people seem to love Formula One and the Suzuka Circuit is one of the best in the world.

"It has a sensational combination of corners, it's very quick in the first sector. It's quite a narrow track, so you have to be very, very accurate.

"Rhythm is very important there aswell; you have to make sure you have the car completely on the limit for all the corners and you have to get certain sections absolutely right. It's a good challenge for the drivers and there are some good elevation changes as well - I'm looking forward to it", the Australian concluded.

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