2016 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix
Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka Circuit for short, in Japan is one of the most difficult racing tracks in the world. It is a technically, physically and mentally challenging race circuit. Nevertheless, the track is one of the favourites among Formula One drivers, and the spectators like it as well. It is one of few circuits in the world to have a figure-of-eight layout, meaning the circuit runs both clockwise and anti-clockwise. The track does not actually intersect with itself, instead the back straight passes over the front section by means of an overpass.
Suzuka is a high-speed circuit with a top speed of 315 km/h and an average speed of about 230 km/h. The circuit length is 5.81 kilometers and it has a varied mix of high and low speed corners. A total of 18 corners with 10 right turns and 8 left turns. The best possibility for overtaking is the tight Casio Triangle chicane at the end of the lap, even though the course is very narrow at this point. There are very small margins for driver error in Suzuka because there are almost no tarmac run-off areas, which mean that it is easy to get stuck in the gravel.
The nature of the track with its figure-of-eight configuration tests the cars all round handling characteristics and Suzuka is also, due to its high number of corners, one of the toughest rounds on the Formula One calendar for tyres. The best set-up is the one which allows the best traction, grip and enable quick change of direction from the tyres. The weather is sometimes quite unpredictable in this region and rain is seldom far away, waiting to play a role in the Japanese Grand Prix.