MARCH 14, 2006

Fuji signs deal for 2007

Toyota's Fuji Speedway will host the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, replacing Honda's Suzuka circuit as the venue for the event. Suzuka has hosted the race since 1987 but Fuji was the home of the first Japanese F1 races in 1976 and 1977. The news was confirmed to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper by Bernie Ecclestone.

The Formula One company may agree to hold a second Japanese race at Suzuka as there are now three Japanese teams in F1. In order to secure a race, however, Suzuka will have to bid against the other nations wanting an event. Suzuka Circuitland president Ikuo Shimizu said that negotiations are continuing. If there was a second event it is likely that this would be badged as either a Pacific Grand Prix or potentially an Asian Grand Prix.

Toyota has invested a huge sums of money to rebuild Fuji, which it acquired six years ago. It re-opened for business in April last year.