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Track Notes – Suzuka

By Mav | 3 Oct 2011 | One Comment | 3,061 views

Suzuka is a truly technical circuit with a lot of character and features some wonderfully rewarding corners.

Even the first two corners, which look tame enough at first glance, have an awkward camber. From this lowest part of the circuit the track climbs through five switchback corners where a driver needs rhythm and faultless stability, before arriving at Dunlop Curve. The figure-eight circuit then crosses under itself and heads down to the hairpin, which often sees overtaking possibilities.

Spoon Curve is a never-ending left-hander, before the cars are spat
out onto a long straight and up to the legendary 130R – a 300km/h left-hand corner through which Fernando Alonso pulled off one of the best manoeuvres of his career, around the outside of Michael Schumacher in 2005. The lap ends with a chicane, known as Casio Triangle, where cars regularly trip over each other.

Copyright VivaF1
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Suzuka sees a little under average level of retirements through both accidents and mechanical problems but those that do occur tend to be focused on the first lap – only Barcelona and Melbourne have seen a higher number of first lap retirements per race over the last five years.

Engine demand:               Mechanical retirements:    10.9%
Tyre wear:           Accident retirements:    9.4%
Brake demand:           First Lap retirements:    6.3%
Downforce level:           Safety car deployments:    0.67 per race

Top speed:     312 km/h (194 mph)
Average speed:     222 km/h (138 mph)
Pitlane loss:     18.7 s
Pitlane length:     400 m
Gear changes per lap:     36
Time at full-throttle:     62%
Time under braking:     9%
Fuel effect:     0.07 s per lap of fuel
Fuel consumption:     2.21 kg per 5 km
Tyre allocation:     Medium (white) / Soft (yellow)

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Retirements and safety car deployments based on last five years.
Retirements are a percentage of all cars starting the race.
Accident retirements covers accidents, collisions and drivers spun out of the race
Other data courtesy of AT&T Williams F1, Lotus Renault GP, Pirelli Tyres and Brembo Brakes

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