It’s Hammer Time! On the weekend of 6-8th October 2017, we realised a wish and attended the Japanese formula one at the legendary Suzuka circuit, near Nagoya. I had gifted Dan the experience (being the excellent gift giver I am, the perfect gift, wins all round for me and him!) and so I was a little anxious that our ‘third cheapest’ seats would disappoint. After the mind-blowing experience we had at Silverstone in 2015 (just casually meeting Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and getting to go on a private tour of the Mercedes Pit….) I was worried Suzuka was set up to not live up to that memory.
Well, I needn’t have worried as the circuit here does all the work! We sat at Dunlop curve and enjoyed a sweeping view of the cars as they navigate that chicane. Being a figure of 8, it meant the circuit was easy to navigate on foot without having to walk 15k. And it has a theme park! We fulfilled a childhood dream of Dan’s and had a ride on the big red wheel at Suzuka. It gives you views across the circuit, with the blue hazy mountains in the distance one way, and the glittering ocean the other.
Lewis Hamilton was also feeling it this weekend, with a epic and easy win that almost guarantees him the drivers championship of 2017 (it helped him that poor Vettel’s car broke!). The crowd was pretty international, and the organisation was exceptional and exactly what I have come to expect and love about Japan. The tiny one track, three carriage, local train station, which was seeing thousands in footfall, remained on time and ticking along nicely. The biggest team support by far was for Ferrari and in particular Raikkonen. The man with few words has many fans! A lady sat next to us was a particularly big fan, and each time his car passed, she would stand up, wave and shake her flag, and squeal with pure joy!
It was a brilliant weekend in the rain and sunshine at the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix.