F1 » 2 October 2011
Q&A: Vitaly Petrov, Lotus Renault GP
Vitaly Petrov: Suzuka tests drivers in every way possible; it is challenging and very, very fast. If you count the number of high-speed corners that are taken in fourth gear or above, there are more than any other circuit on the calendar.
Lotus Renault GP driver Vitaly Petrov looks back on Singapore and ahead to the F1 2011 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Vitaly, what are your feelings after a disappointing night race in Singapore?
It was a challenging weekend for us and frustrating not to see our hard work translated into results. We didn't perform at our usual level. We now need to show what we can do in the final five races.
How did you spend your time in between Singapore and Japan – did you go back to England?
Yes, I came back straight after the race. I went through my usual training routines, before returning to England to visit the factory, meet with my engineers and discuss what happened in Singapore. Of course, we have also been preparing for Suzuka and the engineers have given me some data from last year to look at, which should help stand me in good stead.
Are you excited about going to Suzuka, one of the classic tracks on the calendar?
Suzuka may be a famous circuit but it's also quite a tricky one. Everyone knows it well, and all motorsport fans love it. I've only been to Suzuka once before, but racing there really is quite special. The track tests drivers in every way possible; it is challenging and very, very fast. If you count the number of high-speed corners that are taken in fourth gear or above, there are more than any other circuit on the calendar. The first sector is incredible: the 's' curves are like a rollercoaster, flipping the g-forces from side to side through very long corners, and it's tough to keep the correct line, particularly because if you get one corner wrong, you really suffer in the other corners.
How do you expect to perform in Suzuka?
I hope the car will be strong there. It's important to have confidence in the high-speed corners because if your confidence is down you can lose a lot of lap time. There is a very small margin for error because there are very few run-off areas, so as soon as you make a mistake, you are in the gravel. Often, when you are outside the car you don't realise that the drivers are making errors, because you see them put a wheel over the kerb and onto the run-off area, before they come straight back on track. But Suzuka doesn't work like that - if you go off with one wheel, you don't come back. It's one of the most fearsome tracks, but when you get it right it gives you immense satisfaction.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Start the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.