A SWISS GOTEMBA
“I won both the Formula Nippon and SuperGT championships and spent several fantastic years in Japan which is such a clean, safe and respectful country. Accompanied by Gaëlle, now my wife, I lived in Gotemba initially, then in Tokyo, after obtaining permission from the boss. I was enchanted by everything: the culture, the food, the flavours… I would even wear a kimono occasionally for tea ceremonies.”
“At the circuits, we sparked the same sort of enthusiasm that F1 drivers generate in Europe. It was hard to walk through the paddock because of all the fans and, in keeping with tradition, I even had my own Manga portrait.
“When my first son was born, he received dozens and dozens of gifts from the fans. He also lived in Japan and still hankers after certain savours today. The whole family knows how to use chopsticks and we have a chalet in Switzerland that Gaëlle and I decided to baptise Gotemba, as a souvenir of our time in Japan.”
LOOKING FORWARD TO FUJI
“On both the personal and professional levels, those years were an extremely formative experience for me and my family. We got to discover a new way of life in a country where there is a fundamental sense of respect, something that is vital with so many people occupying such little space, as is the case in Japan.”
“My career eventually brought me back to Europe, but I returned recently to Suzuka as F1 commentator for the French TV channel Canal+. While there, I saw that I still had my banner in the grandstands, along with those of Hamilton, Vettel and the rest. That’s Japanese fan loyalty for you!
“Today, my family and I are very happy where we are and there’s only one place that could tempt us away. That’s Japan. So it’s easy to guess how much I’m looking forward to traveling to Fuji with Team Peugeot TotalEnergies!”