The F1 circus loves Suzuka. The drivers relish the challenge of its fast sweeps; the teams enjoy the ease of it – the excellent trackside facilities and the conveniently-located hotels – and the European journalists indulge in the seven-hour time difference to home, which gives them plenty of time to file their copy!
The first grand prix to be staged at Suzuka was in 1987. Only four years later, Michael Schumacher made his debut at the track and he had a massive accident at the scarily-quick 130R in practice. Since then he’s won at the track six times, so it was a fitting location for the most successful driver in the history of F1 to announce his retirement on Thursday.
It’s fitting that one of the greatest tracks on earth attracts the headlines, both on and off the racetrack. It was a privilege just to be there.