Two days of private testing for the F1 Clienti and XX Programmes have come to a close at Suzuka, with 28 cars on track, in an event that will linger long in the memories of the participants.
Amazing power. The FXX-K Evo was one of the most active cars on track. The latest XX Programmes car is extraordinarily powerful, packing over 1000 hp, and using all the most cutting edge Formula 1 technologies. The FXX-K Evo, presented at the Finali Mondiali at Mugello, is equipped with a hybrid system that recovers the kinetic energy developed during braking, reusing it to boost the power of the 6-litre V12 engine. The Suzuka circuit also saw an FXX K, three FXXs, the first car of this programme, and two 599XXs, equipped with a sophisticated ground effect system.
Eight-cylinder magic. The 15 Formula 1 single-seaters offered an extraordinary sight as they were lapping around the Japanese circuit. The throb that echoed along the track also contributed to the excitement of the fans in the stands. Along with the V12s and V10s, the roar of the 8-cylinder engines also went down well, more acute and intense than their bigger siblings.
The F2007, raced by Felipe Massa, was making it debut at Suzuka because the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix took place at the Fuji Speedway. The same went for the three F2008s taking part in this session. Kimi Raikkonen raced two of these during a season in which the Finn closed the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix, also at Fuji, in third place.
Then, there were two F10s driven competitively by Alonso and Massa. In a race now back at Suzuka and full of twists and turns, the first of which had seen Massa’s exit from the race, Alonso finished third, just two seconds behind the winner. The former Formula 1 driver, Thierry Boutsen, also drove this single-seater. The Belgian spent 11 seasons in Formula 1, securing three victories and fifteen podiums. Finally, there were three examples of Ferrari 150° Italia, all raced by Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard came second in the Grand Prix held on this circuit on 9 October.
History. Created in 1962 by Dutchman John Hugenholz, Suzuka is a ‘modular’ circuit, which can take on different configurations and lengths depending on the type of race. However, the 5.807 km Grand Prix track is, of course, best known for Formula 1. It offers a succession of breathless curves, including the double uphill ‘esses’, a drivers’ favourite. Brakes are only used lightly, the top speed is close to 330 km/h despite no long straights, and the drivers are always busy. All in all, it is the ideal terrain for Ferrari single-seaters and cars like the FXX-K Evo that use active aerodynamics for the best possible downforce.