It's the Grand Prix weekend in Japan. Suzuka is not only the oldest circuit on the F1 calendar but also claims to be the drivers and fans favourite. And it has to be said it's produced many a great race. Senna and Prost saw the decisive crashes here in '89 and '90; the first seeing Prost take the title and the second seeing Senna. I remember watching and thinking as they got our of their cars, if only they'd shaken hands.
Suzuka is actually the name of the city where the track is located and nothing to do with Suzuki; in fact it was built as the test track for Honda. It remains a nightmare to access requiring the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagoya followed by a local train followed by a long, long walk. Alternatively, once you reach Nagoya have a car arranged to take you to the circuit, wait for the day and bring you back. I actually met Fernando Alonso together with Damon Hill this way once.
The Formula One weekend also leads to a series of parties and events in Tokyo claiming one or more of the drivers will be there. This inevitably leads to an excellent turnout but rarely a showing by one of the few on the face of the planet capable of driving those machines properly. In the case of Jensen Button it always rings slightly true as his fiancé is Japanese/Argentinian. And that's why he shouts "YATTA" when he wins a race. It's the Japanese for "DID IT!"
And back at the track, if you're tickets are for the main stand, take your sun cream. At 2.00PM on a Sunday afternoon, when those engines start and the sound rips into you, you're face on into it. However this weekend you may be saved from this by the effects of typhoon Phanfone. Though I'm not sure that's a good thing.
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