Suzuka ‘dropped for Fuji’

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, Suzuka, 2005Reports from Japan indicate that Honda’s Suzuka circuit will lose the Japanese Grand Prix to Toyota’s Fuji Speedway in 2007. The Yomiuri Shimbun claims Fuji have done a deal with Formula One Management, but that Suzuka could yet be thrown a lifeline as Japan could host two races.

In 2005 Suzuka was voted the second-best racing circuit on the Formula One calendar by Formula One fans. Since then the favourite circuit – Spa-Francorchamps – has been dropped from the 2006 calendar as Bernie Ecclestone demanded improvements to the paddock.

The Fuji Speedway was the first Japanese circuit to hold a Grand Prix, in 1976. But the circuit has been extensively remodelled since then and although its facilities have been upgraded the new configuration is tight, slow and unexciting. Suzuka boasts some of the great corners in F1 such as 130R, the Esses, Spoon and the Degner curves.

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