What F1 Fanatics say about… Suzuka

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Suzuka is of the most popular tracks among drivers and fans alike. But it’s not the easiest race track for fans outside Japan to visit.

Those who have visited Suzuka speak highly of it and a number of F1 Fanatic readers are heading to the track for this weekend’s race. Here’s what they have to say about the circuit.

Jeffrey Balanag has been to both Japanese tracks before and is heading to Suzuka again for this year’s Grand Prix:

I went to Suzuka last year (the first time it’s been there since Schumacher retired, and I was there too), and I must say it’s far better (race atmosphere & audience-wise) than Fuji (which I’ve also been to since they started F1 racing there).

Coming from abroad, it may be best to take a package tour. The Suzuka circuit is literally a small platform & footbridge down from the rail line, and the track is a little over a kilometre walk from there.

Of course, it’s also like 45-minutes by train from Nagoya (the closest metropolis with a "Shinkansen" or Bullet Train stop). The fare is Yen1100 from Nagoya (around $15) so a package tour which includes shuttle service & hotel may save you money. The hotel will necessarily be in Nagoya or close nearby. but that also means there are many choices apart from the official ones.

Either way, they do add trains during race weekend, and there are marshals to ensure you queue for the right train and maintain order in waiting and boarding. They also have bi-lingual volunteers to help us foreign barbarians about, and there is a special queue for those who must get back to Nagoya in time to catch the bullet train back to Tokyo (at race end). Yes, all very efficient in a very Japanese way.
Jeffrey Balanag

Jeffrey’s been fielding questions from other F1 Fanatic readers who are heading to the race, including one from Walrus who is concerned about the restrictions on taking photographs.

I can’t read Japanese, but my niece can. She says the note states except on Friday Practice, when the D1 area is "free" (i.e. open to all), you cannot use a lens longer than 200mm unless you buy the Cameraman Seats in Section D1.
Jeffrey Balanag

Among the other F1 Fanatic readers heading to this weekend’s race is the current Predictions Championship leader Tom Hitchings. Here are two others who will be at Suzuka:

I am travelling alone and staying in Nagoya for the weekend! Would like to know where to go etc… for night life in Nagoya and meet up with other F1 lovers of ex-pats in Nagoya.
Shylo Goodman

I’m going this year too. I have just booked my flights and looking for a place to stay in Nagoya. Do you know any place? Otherwise hope to see you there!

If you’re going to this year’s Japanese Grand Prix you can find and chat to other fans who are heading there on this page:

There’s also discussion pages for the remaining events on the calendar:

Already planning your F1 trip for 2011? Find pages for next year’s races here:

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

    Browse all 2010 Japanese Grand Prix articles

    Image © Red Bull/Getty images

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    25 comments on “What F1 Fanatics say about… Suzuka”

    1. Looks like you missed off the link to the discussion page Keith, would be interested in reading that as (money permitting) I will be visiting friends over there next year and going to Suzuka for the race is high on my list of things to do.

      1. Link fixed!

    2. I love Suzuka. It’s a personal favourite of mine. It has been since I started watching Formula 1 at about the age of nine, largely because it was one of the few races in a reasonable time zone for me since I wasn’t allowed to stay up until eleven or twelve to watch the European rounds. Ah, the days when the network actually cared to broadcast the races at a proper time … it’s a shame they had to ruin it by dubbing their own commentary with Darryl Eastlake over the top of Murray Walker. I remember the commentary cut out once shortly before an ad break and the station didn’t bother to fix it right away. I caught a few sentences from Murray, and I suddenly knew there was a whole new world out there. I think that was the moment I became an F1 Fanatic.

      Anyway, what I’m really surious about today is what would happen if Suzuka as we know it never existed and it was annouced that we were going somewhere remote and obscure and isolated and of questionable relevance to the rest of the world as a whole, much less Formula 1 (like Chad or Tajikistan or New Zealand) and the current configuration of Suzuka was unveiled as the circuit the sport was to race on. I wonder what kind of reaction it would provoke …

      1. A good layout is a good layout.

      2. In response to your final paragraph, I think it is a really interesting point. The layout is fantastic, but then a lot of time we judge a circuit on what has gone on their in the past. So for Suzuka we think of Senna and Prost, Alonso around the outside of Schumacher etc.

        I think this plays a big part in our judgement of a track. I for one think that the Abu Dhabi layout is really strong, but it provided a poor race last year. Plus the location has some part to play in how we judge it.

        I think the Korean track is fairly reminiscent of Suzuka, with a few less high speed corners (impression based on F1 2010). I think you’ll get a fair answer to your question with how we find that circuit.

      3. PM. I don’t think that Jack Brabham Denny Hulme or Bruce Mclaren would appreciate the remark about New Zealand being an obscure part of the world.

        I sometimes wonder about you.

        1. Agreed. Also, pretty sure New Zealand is close to the top of a lot of people’s “places I wish I could visit” lists. Not exactly obscure.

        2. You do realise it’s a joke, right? I did it the other day, but no-one responded, so I shamelessly re-used it.

          1. A mean joke that clearly hurt our feelings :P

          2. You do realise humour is supposed to be funny right?

          3. I thought it was quite funny, reminiscent of the old joke from Blackadder:

            Captain Blackadder: And then the final, irrefutable proof. Remember, you mentioned a clever boyfriend…

            Nurse Mary: Yes.

            Captain Blackadder: I then leapt on the opportunity to test you. I asked if he’d been to one of the great universities, Oxford, Cambridge, or Hull.

            Nurse Mary: Well?

            Captain Blackadder: You failed to spot that only two of those are great Universities.

            Nurse Mary: Swine!

            General Melchett: That’s right! Oxford’s a complete dump!

        3. Alex, I don’t think that Sir Jack Brabham would be too happy about being called a New Zealander either, mate. He’s an Aussie! :D

          1. @Toby Eeeek! I hate it when that happens…

        4. I’m guessing Alex was thinking of Chris Amon when he wrote Jack Brabham..

      4. remote and obscure and isolated and of questionable relevance to the rest of the world as a whole


      5. remote and obscure and isolated and of questionable relevance to the rest of the world as a whole

        I’m surprised you didn’t put the US on that list, it meets all that criteria.

    3. Hopefully it will be on the calendar for many more years, Suzuka is definately a track I want to visit for an F1 race, along with Silverstone, Spa and Singapore.

      *Coincidence I want to visit all the ‘S’ circuits.
      *Sakhir Circuit would be good to visit too, better than TV viewing!

    4. Have a nice time too all the people who are going there.

    5. “She says the note states except on Friday Practice, when the D1 area is “free” (i.e. open to all), you cannot use a lens longer than 200mm unless you buy the Cameraman Seats in Section D1.”

      Thats mental! How do they enforce that?

      1. With rulers!

        In all seriousness though, there were plenty of people at Silverstone with some fancy lenses and no one batted an eye-lid.

        1. I’ve attended plenty of events in Japan (though no grand prix’s) usually they don’t check things too much.

          If challenged say “I don’t speak Japanese”

          You will be fine.

    6. Suzuka, Silverstone and Spa are my favourite circuits by far.

      Interlagos is pretty good as well, but is that because the drama of it being the last race or so close to the end of the season?

      Just look at the classic races at Suzuka, some of them unfortunately over in the first corner ;-)

    7. Looks like the start line offset has changed this year. Anyone know why? http://bit.ly/ahK7aR

      1. Got an answer to my question on Twitter, and it was as I expected: “Yes, at certain circuits, the Start Line offset is used to allow for a larger grid and b/c of where they setup the Finish line!”

    8. having a regular nightlife can make your life a very colorful one, i enjoy having nigh outs ::-

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