September 26, 2007
After 30 years Formula One is back at Fuji. On a race track, which is totally different from the one where Niki Lauda, after his terrible accident at the Nürburgring, let slip the opportunity to gain the title in the drivers´ championship. The new track at Fuji is an incredible modern circuit, with avantgarde structures, whereby the architects had learned from the race tracks, which have been built recently outside Europe. Obviously we´ll miss Suzuka a bit, as there are numerous memories connected to this track around the funfair. How can one forget the epic duels between Senna and Prost in the late 80s and early 90s, or the race by Michael Schumacher in the year 2000, which brought him the title. It has to be said that Fuji also has its place in the history of Formula One, although maybe the younger tifosi might not remember. Apart from the episode with Niki Lauda, you can´t forget Hunt´s gesture or Villenueve´s terrible accident, in which two spectators died, to name just a few of the most significant events at the foot of Mount Fuji. When you hear about the simulators with processors elaborating billions of bits of information every second, CAD and virtual reproductions of all kind, which are used to find the setup and the strategy, it makes you smile. Especially when you think about Lauda´s withdrawal for example, when he came back into the pit lane, which looked more like a pit lane for karts than for Formula One cars. It´s difficult to tell how things will go over the upcoming weekend, as it is a completely new track for all the teams. In the end reality is always different from what you get from simulators. I hope that our beloved red ones will manage the race just like the guys from Borgo Panigale did last weekend in an extraordinary race in the land of the rising sun, although our competitors won´t have almond eyes.