Sebastian Vettel may not have raced at Suzuka in the past, but the Red Bull driver has claimed that the venue for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix is the 'best in the world'.
Vettel heads to Japan looking to keep his slim title hopes alive after his drive-through penalty in Singapore resulted in a fourth place finish, after he had earlier looked like fighting Lewis Hamilton for victory.
It leaves the German 25 points behind Jenson Button with just 30 points to play for, but he said he was confident that Suzuka is a circuit which will suit Red Bull as he seeks to keep his hopes alive.
“Suzuka is the best track in the world,” he said. “I drove the two hours of Friday free practice here at the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix. The first hour was wet, which was pretty scary as I didn't know where the track went!
“I'm looking forward to racing there as it's one of the most challenging circuits with a lot of high speed corners. It's enjoyable and I think it should suit our car.”
Team-mate Mark Webber also praised the circuit as 'something special' and said he was looking forward to making a return, with the Japanese race having been held at Fuji in recent years.
“Fourth is my best result here, for Williams in 2005, the penultimate time we raced at
Suzuka,” he said. “It was a bit of a classic with Raikkonen and Alonso coming through from the back. Kimi took the lead on the last lap and I had a good battle with Fernando in the middle of the race.
“It's a sensational circuit and I've even got good memories of watching the 8 Hours motorcycle race on TV, as a lot of Australians ride in that race. The crowd are pretty close to the Italians in terms of how knowledgeable and passionate they are, although they're also very reserved. When I walk into the track, going through the amusement park, you can really feel that Suzuka has got something about it that makes it special.”