Lewis Hamilton says he cannot wait to race at the Suzuka circuit for the first time, as the challenging track returns to the Formula 1 calendar this weekend.
Suzuka has been absent from the schedule since the 2006 season, but the circuit will host the Japanese Grand Prix again this year.
Hamilton, who made his Formula 1 debut in 2007, has not raced at the Japanese circuit, and he admitted he has been waiting to do it for a long time.
"It feels like I've been waiting my whole life to race at Suzuka - so, as you can imagine, I'll be really excited when practice starts there on Friday morning," said Hamilton in a team preview.
"Ever since I was a kid, I've raced Suzuka on computer games – and while it kind of gives you an idea of how the circuit goes, nothing can beat the real thing. It looks like a real driver's circuit – the first sector esses look very demanding and the higher speed corners towards the end of the lap will probably require real precision and a good car setup.
"I'm also really looking forward to returning to Japan – it's one of my favourite countries and I love racing in front of the Japanese fans. It should be a great weekend," added Hamilton, winner of yesterday's Singapore Grand Prix.
Despite Hamilton's commanding victory in the Singapore race, Mercedes boss Norbert Haug believes McLaren will not be favorite in Japan.
"With two race wins and 45 points from the last five races, the final one being last Sunday in Singapore, our team has continued this upwards trend," Haug said.
"I don't think we'll be among the favorites for victory at Suzuka; however, everybody in the team is working hard to conclude the season with further good results in Japan and the following races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi."