He was the first Japanese driver to finish on a Grand Prix podium, doing so at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. Since then, Takuma Sato finished on the podium at the 2004 United States Grand Prix and Kamui Kobayashi at the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix.
Formula One Career
In the 1989 season, the German Zakspeed team hired him for the next season of Formula One, using Yamaha engines. But he failed to pre-qualify for every single race, due to an under-powered Yamaha engine. He left the team at the end of the season.
In 1990 he returned to Larrousse, and scored his first and only podium in his home race at Japan. He would finish 12th in the Drivers' Championship with 6 points.
He was retained for 1991. He finished 6th and in the points at the season opener at the United States, but the Lola LC91 was unreliable, which caused him to only finish once out of a possible 11 times, and failing to qualify four times. He would leave the team at the end of the season.
1992 saw him move to the Footwork team, which would use Mugen-Honda engines for the season. But ultimately, he could not finish in the points, and failed to qualify twice. He was retained for the 1993 season, but he would not score any points again, and retiring more than finishing, eventually leaving the team.
In 1994, after Jordan's Eddie Irvine was given a three-race ban for a crash involving multiple drivers at Brazil, Suzuki filled in the vacant Jordan seat for the next race at Aida. He retired from the race with a steering wheel problem, and Jordan picked up Italian Andrea de Cesaris for the next race at San Marino.
In 1995, he got a Ligier seat, which would use Mugen-Honda engines. But he only raced for 5 races, and he would eventually score his final points finish at Germany. In his home race at Japan, he had a big accident during practice, which he spun out and had a heavy impact with the barriers coming into the 2nd corner. He would later retire from Formula One racing.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Pts.||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1988||Larrousse Calmels||Lola-Ford Cosworth||0||NC||Report|
|1989||West Zakspeed Racing||Zakspeed-Yamaha||0||NC||Report|
|1990||ESPO Larrousse F1||Lola-Lamborghini||6||12th||Report|
|1991||Larrousse F1||Lola-Ford Cosworth||1||22nd||Report|
|1992||Footwork Mugen Honda||Footwork-Mugen-Honda||0||NC||Report|
|1993||Footwork Mugen Honda||Footwork-Mugen-Honda||0||NC||Report|
|1995||Ligier Gitanes Blondes||Ligier-Mugen-Honda||1||17th||Report|
|Distance Raced||11272.641 km (7004 mi)|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
- Race stopped after 14/81 Laps. Half points awarded