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SEPTEMBER 21, 2006

Suzuka told that no race possible in 2007

The Suzuka Circuit has told the Reuters newsagency that it will not be hosting a race in 2007.

"We were informed by the Formula 1 authorities yesterday," Suzuka's public relation's chief Yasuo Sugaya told Reuters. "Obviously we feel it is a great pity. We had been hopeful we could come to an arrangement to have two races but unfortunately it was not to be. It's still possible we can come back next year (2008) so we'll keep trying."

The news means that F1 is left with a very odd start to the year in 2007 with the opening race in Australia on its own on March 18, two weeks later than normal, and then a three-week gap until the Malaysian GP on April 8 which is followed a week later by Bahrain on April 15. There is little logistical logic in this as teams will now have to fly their crews back to Europe between races, rather than leaving them in Australia for three weeks. They will then be involved in a mad rush to get everything from Kuala Lumpur to Bahrain in just a week.

One can only assume that this odd calendar is designed to convince the teams that theer should be 19 races in 2008.