A lap of Suzuka with David Coulthard 09 Oct 2004
McLarens Scottish veteran, David Coulthard, guides you on an (dry-weather) flying lap of the classic Suzuka circuit, venue for this weekends Japanese Grand Prix.
For a map of the circuit layout, please click here.
Accelerating along the downhill pit straight at Suzuka, you reach 195mph / 312kph in seventh gear, before lifting slightly for the fast, fifth gear right of First Curve. Your speed decreases only slightly to 162mph / 260kph. The track continues to bend to the right through the second corner, which is much tighter and negotiated at 95mph / 153kph in third gear.
A quick burst on the throttle to some 153mph / 245kph, sees you reach the snake section. The track flicks left-right-left-right through this fourth gear complex. Your speed ranges from 130mph / 210kph at the start, to some 86mph / 140kph for the final right-hander. The challenging, long left of Dunlop Curve is next. Taken at 135mph / 217kph, Dunlop is quite bumpy on the entry and is nearly flat out. On the following straight you reach 180mph / 290kph in seventh on the approach to the Degner Curve. The first section of this double right-hander is taken at 115mph / 185kph in fourth gear, before dabbing the brakes for the tighter turn nine, which is taken at 75mph / 120kph in second. A short straight follows, and you flow under the bridge at speeds of 160mph / 225kph in fifth gear, as the track kinks to the right slightly leading into the tide hairpin.
Braking hard you drop to 40mph / 64kph in first gear for the 180-degree left-hander. On the throttle as you exit, the circuit begins to sweep right through the long curve of turn twelve. You reach speeds of 185mph / 297kph in seventh, before braking for the double apex of Spoon Curve. The first left-hander is entered at 112mph / 180kph in fourth. As you continue round the corner, your speed increases slightly before a dab on the brakes takes your speed down to 87mph / 140kph in third for the second apex.
It is important to maintain good momentum through the Spoon Curve, as the exit takes you out onto the longest, straight of the track. Powering up through the gears, you are travelling at 195mph / 312kph in seventh as you crossover the track below on the approach to the 130R. Either flat out or with only a slight lift for the fast left-hander, your speed stays around the 170mph / 275kph mark in the corner. Another straight leads to the Casino Triangle chicane. You then sweep back via a long right hander onto the start-finish straight.