Kamui Kobayashi admit is is a great feeling to be returning to action in front of his home fans at Suzuka, a track the Sauber man admits is one to be proud of.
Despite being the home hero, Kobayashi has only limited experience of the Suzuka circuit but he said he was looking forward to his second Japanese GP appearance.
"[It's] always great to come back to Japan as I am Japanese and so many fans are waiting," he said. "I am very proud of Suzuka, as this is one of the really great circuits. It is very enjoyable to drive here as well. Racing here is always great and really thanks to the many fans as they are always waiting for Formula One."
Sauber head to this weekend's race with a number of upgrades which should help Kobayashi achieve what he hopes will be good result for his home country this weekend.
"Yeah, we have a reasonable update," he said. "For us it will be like last update. We had a couple of small updates but this is biggest step for this year. This circuit, the aerodynamics are quite important, so I think if it works well we can see a good result and this is what we want for this week."
Obviously this weekend's race has an added significance following the hardship Japan has had to endure after March's earthquake and tsunami, something which was felt globally.
Kobayashi, at the centre of attention this weekend, however, is focusing on getting the best out of his car this weekend for his fans, on what he describes as a tough track.
"Suzuka is quite a tough track," he said. "When you only have one lap to get it together it is quite tricky. For the race, a small mistake means you are always missing a lot of lap time. This circuit is not easy, but if the car is good it is not so difficult driving here."
by Simon Evans