Suzuka in Japan is the 15th race circuit on the F1 calender on the video game F1 2011. It has a lap distance of 3.6 miles, a top speed of 194 mph and has high tyre and brake wear. Here, I will guide you around the circuit with important tips to give you the best chance at qualifying for pole and racing for a victory. Feel free to skip to the section of the article that is most relevant to you. Otherwise, if you are unfamiliar with the circuit generally, read the whole article. I would also advise you to enlarge the image to the right so that you know what corners I am referring to.
Before I start things off, I will try to forget about Al difficulties, traction control, ABS, and manual sequential gearing because every driver has a different set up.
The most important set up which you can quickly do is the ‘Quick Setup’ which let’s you change the level of downforce. For Suzuka, downforce is needed as there are a lot of corners. But, because the corners are quite fast, you can afford to reduce the downforce so that Top Speed is ‘high’ or ‘very high’ and downforce is ‘low’ or ‘very low’. If not, adjust the car to the level of downforce you feel comfortable with.
KERS and DRS at Suzuka
- Half of all your KERS should be used coming out of turn 11. The other half should be used coming out of turn 8. This will give you the most benefit when using KERS.
- It is a high speed circuit which, when in qualifying, will tempt you to use DRS through some of the long faster corners such as turn 10. Do not do this as your car will spin out of control. Only ever use DRS in a straight line.
- DRS is activated only on the pit straight after coming out of turn 12. Bear in mind you need to be about a second behind the car behind at turn 11-12 to gain a DRS advantage.
Suzuka Corner by Corner
- Turn 1 – The first turn of the circuit. Approaching turn 1 you are reaching near full speed. Therefore, don’t brake too late. I find the trick is to turn in early to stay close to the apex. If you do decide to be daring and brake late, you won’t be punished as much for going off as the run-off section, the majority of it, is tarmac. Therefore, it is great for overtaking people considering it comes off the straight with DRS and replenished KERS. It is one of them corners which tightens the further you go round it so be warned.
- Turn 2 – Through turn 2, your aim should be to clip the curb on each corner. Be careful not to go too fast. Failing to hit the apex of one corner will make you run wide into the rest of the corners: it’s a knock on effect. Therefore, be more cautious at the beginning of turn 2 and gradually get more aggressive.
- Turn 3 – A long corner which is uphill, turn 3 requires you to hit the apex again. But, if you don’t it won’t ruin your run up to turn 4. If traction control is off, be careful to not wheel spin the tyres and oversteer. Make sure the engine acceleration is constant throughout the turn.
- Turn 4 – A 180 degree turn that also goes uphill, this turn requires a lot more control because getting this corner wrong will lose you speed along the straight from turn 4 to 5. In the race, this may be a corner to deploy KERS on if looking to overtake. Other than that, if your not using traction control again, be careful to wheel spin the tyres again. Uphill makes it easy to lose traction.
- Turn 5 – The first corner of turn 5 allows you to cut it quite a lot. Try to cut the corner so your right tyre is on the green patch of the kerb. You won’t bounce or anything like that because you are still going quite fast. The second corner of turn 5 is very similar to the first of turn 5 but slightly longer where the exit of the turn matters. For this reason, don’t try and take in speed into the corner like with the first corner of turn 5 but try and take out speed for the run down to turn 6. Approach the turn slower and accelerate out of the corner deploy DRS (for qualifying) as soon as you touch the curb on the left of the exit.
- Turn 6 – One of the most trickiest corners on the circuit due to its low speed, this turn requires a lot of precision seeing that the run-off area is gravel. On the approach, your aim is to try and brake in a straight line to stop skidding or sliding of the car. After that, hit the apex of the corner. The exit of the corner is quite wide so allow the car to run wide as you accelerate off. As this is one of the slowest corners, you can use KERS here a bit if you want to regain some speed.
- Turn 7 – This is one of the corners where you cannot use DRS without going off. Your aim for turn 7 is to not hit the apex but be consistent and fluent with your turn. Don’t turn sharp then soft then sharp. Stay at one turning angle to gain maximum speed through the corner.
- Turn 8 – A double corner like turn 5, treat turn 8 like you did with turn 5. Both corners are quite similar. Try to go fast into the first corner and then slow out. With the second corner, do the opposite and deploy half of the KERS on the exit of the turn seeing as you will now be on a long straight.
- Turn 9 – Turn 9 isn’t really a turn at all. Just continue accelerating!
- Turn 10 – Turn 10 is another corner which you cannot use DRS at all without going off. There are different techniques to this corner. If you are using a good car with good downforce, you can go straight through this corner without lifting off. Try to turn in early again to hit the apex. For cars with less downforce, you may find you will have to quickly jab on the brake or lift off to stay on the track. Remember during qualifying to turn of DRS during the corner and turn it back on after.
- Turn 11 – Another extremely slow turn being a chicane this time, try to be daring when braking into turn 11 because the run off is tarmac. If you do manage to brake late and manage to control the car, use little power at all. The speed through the chicane cannot be fast otherwise you will lose control. Hit each curb as at low speed because you can afford to do this (the car won’t bounce much).
- Turn 12 – Turn 12 is a corner where you can possibly use DRS although it will be difficult to control the car. Because it is the exit of turn 11, remember to activate all your KERS you have left over from the lap as it will get replenished at the start/finish line. Hit the apex again to slingshot yourself onto the main straight onto the next lap.
Best Turns to Overtake
- Turn 1
- Turn 5
- Turn 6
- Turn 11