Nico Hulkenberg Q&A: Japanese Grand PrixSeptember 20, 2023
Nico previews this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix as he returns to race at Suzuka for the first time in four years.
Some drivers decide to stay in Singapore after the race while others choose to travel to Japan for a few extra days before activities begin in Suzuka. What was your travel plan?
“Japan is so far away that when you get an opportunity to explore for a couple of days, I think you should take it. Our engineering department, some other members of the team, and myself went to Tokyo. It’s also rare that I get to spend time with the team away from the track, so this was a fun way to spend it.”
Between 2012 and 2016, you finished inside the top eight in every race at Suzuka. What is it about this circuit that sets it apart from others?
“It flows, it has elevation changes, it’s physically a challenge on the body – it has everything. 130R, Degners, and Spoon are all unbelievable corners to drive through. It’s a racers circuit and no matter the conditions, and we know they can get pretty extreme, it’s usually a wild ride.”
The race weekend is also unique for the passion the fans bring, again, in whatever the weather. Is it something as a driver during a busy race event you notice?
“When you think of Suzuka, you always have these enthusiastic fans in mind. It’s a joy coming into the circuit every morning because they line the roads up to the paddock and are so kind in bringing you gifts. Over the years I’ve collected some very cool keepsakes. Let’s see what’s in store for me this time."