MARCH 27, 1995
Book now for Hungary!
The race was originally scheduled to take place in April but the Kobe earthquake damaged much of the local infrastructure and, although the track itself was not damaged, the Okayama prefecture decided that to host a race would be inappropriate in the circumstances. The FIA agreed to give the race a new date, one week before the Japanese GP in November.
Rebuilding work in the region is going well with the Bullet Train track, torn up by the quake, already being replaced and expected to be in operation within a month but there seems to be a major problem over marshaling. Last year the Pacific and Japanese GPs used the same group of marshals, who all had to take time off from their work to be present at the races. This is all right if there are two races, one at either end of the calendar, but having two races together means that the marshals need two weeks off and it seems that many of them cannot do that because of Japan's extraordinary work ethic.
The Pacific GP is thus expected to be replaced by the first reserve on the F1 calendar - Hungary - which is aiming for its usual mid-August date. This makes a lot more sense as at the moment there is a month-long break between the German GP (July 30) and Belgium (August 27). While many in F1 were looking forward to a proper "summer holiday" such a gap is not considered to be good for the sport, which likes to maintain a high profile.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council is due to meet in Paris, France this week and the date change is expected to be officialized. Our sources say that the Hungarian event has a 98% chance of happening, so if you want a hotel room in Budapest book now!