JULY 20, 2022
Suzuka boss confident of Japanese GP return
Circuit boss Kaoru Tanaka says he is confident the Japanese GP will go ahead this year after a two-season absence from the Formula 1 calendar.
Harsh covid restrictions in Japan meant the 2020 and 2021 editions could not go ahead at the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit.
The sport is scheduled to return to the venue in October, but also true is that covid infections are currently continuing to rise both in Japan and elsewhere.
"That is true," said Tanaka, president of Japanese GP promoter Mobilityland.
"But the number of severely ill people is not increasing as much as the number of infected people. Also, infections are increasing worldwide but most countries are now open to travel and prioritising economic recovery," he added.
"It seems that Japan is also in that direction, so I think we can hold the race if the situation remains the same as it is now," he told as-web.jp.
Tanaka said Suzuka is therefore pressing ahead with ticket sales.
"We haven't set any special restrictions so far," he confirmed.
"This year, the covid situation has settled down considerably worldwide, and most countries are now in the category of no major restrictions when entering Japan, regardless of the vaccine.
"So we will not take any epidemic prevention measures that exceed that."