SEPTEMBER 19, 2003
Robbery in Suzuka
The Japanese have joined the increasing number of Formula 1 nations to raise their hotel rates at races to absurd levels. A shoebox room in an average hotel located an hour from the race track will now set you back a bargain $700 for the weekend thanks to a new decision that all the hotels under the wing of the race organizers will charge five night minimums. This practice has long gone on in Monaco but at most other events has been kept to a minimum because of competition from smaller hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Suzuka may be a great race track, with a great F1 history, but the organizers have always been slow to react to demands for change from the Formula 1 authorities and the latest decision can only serve to increase suggestions that moving the race to Mount Fuji would be a great idea.
In the last couple of years the hotels in Canada have hiked prices in such a dramatic fashion that there were many in the F1 paddock who were not unhappy when the race was kicked off the F1 calendar.
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