They dropped Suzuka for this?

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren-Mercedes, Suzuka, 2005In case you’ve not seen footage of the Fuji Speedway before, have a look at the video here. Players of Gran Turismo 4 will tell you that the current track is nothing like the fast, flowing layout used for the first two Japanese Grands Prix in 1976 and 1977.

Looking at the new circuit, two things strike you. The first is that it’s incredibly tight and seems to have no interesting corners whatsoever. The second is that, at least, it is very safe – this is essential, especially considering that two spectators were killed in the last Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji.

We have Toyota to ‘thank’ for the move from Honda-backed Suzuka, which gave us the best race of the season in 2005 (pictured). Suzuka was rated the second best cirucit in F1 in an FIA poll of fans last year. Since then the top-rated circuit, Spa-Francorchamps, was dropped from the 2006 calendar. F1’s greatest circuits are in danger of extinction.

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