Suzuka - Japan

Japanese Grand Prix - 12 October 2003
 
Race Distance : 310.596km / 192.995m
Number of Laps : 53
Lap Distance : 5.864km / 3.644m
Lap Record : R. Schumacher 1.36.944
Qualifying : 13:00 - Oct 12/2002
Race : 14:00 - Oct 13/2002


The start is downhill and this can help cars get away. Indeed, in 1988, it helped Ayrton Senna get away after he stalled just before the go signal. Once away, the cars approach First Curve flat out in top gear at speeds of up to 190 mph with a change down to 5th and 150 mph into the bend and into a second curve that is much tighter than the first and can only be negotiated in 3rd with speed dropping to 95 mph.
The S Curve is a left-right-left-right combination that severely taxes any car that is not well balanced. It can usually be taken all the way through in 4th. The sequence is entered at 135 mph, dropping to 85 mph on exit of the final curve. On exiting, the S Curve's 4th gear is maintained for the approach to the Dunlop Curve. This long left-hander is extremely bumpy with plenty of understeer at 135 mph.
Accelerating to 160 mph, the Degner Curve is a tight right-hander that is taken in 4th gear at 120 mph, down to 3rd as the second part of the corner becomes tighter still, and then generally exited with the use of the kerb. Then it is up to top gear at 170 mph to go under the bridge where the course crosses itself to the Hairpin Curve. This is guarded by a short right-hander which slows the cars, but then they have to get down very quickly to 2nd gear for the 45 mph hairpin. Out of the hairpin the circuit curves to the right and on completion of the curve the majority of cars will be in top gear at 170 mph.

 

 

FORMULA 1

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