Vitaly Petrov is looking forward to the F1 2011 Japanese Grand Prix
next weekend, even if he concedes Suzuka is 'quite tricky' testing the drivers' in 'every way possible'.
Petrov will be eager to do well too, especially off the back of Singapore, where the Enstone-based outfit endured a bitterly disappointing weekend. He will also want to shine as new team-mate, Bruno Senna has been impressive since stepping in to replace Nick Heidfeld, and the Russian is under pressure to perform, with rumours circulating he might end up being surplus to requirements in 2012 [see separate story - click here
“Suzuka may be a famous circuit but it's also quite a tricky one,” Petrov said in the countdown to the 15th round in the championship. “The engineers have given me some data from last year to look at though, which should help stand me in good stead.
“Everyone knows Suzuka 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.
“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.”