Suzuka to keep race until 2011
24 August 2009 – Suzuka Circuit confirmed on Sunday that it will continue to host the Japanese Grand Prix up to and including the 2011 Formula One season. The Mie-Ken venue had been scheduled to hold alternate races with Fuji Speedway until the latter elected to pull out of the sport this year.
With Toyota-owner Fuji having taking the reigns from Suzuka to host the Japanese Grand Prix for the last two years, Honda's track will take its turn in 2009 although the F1 homecoming at the circuit will last longer than initially expected after the sport's commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, met with Hiroshi Oshima in Valencia.
With the president of the Mobilityland Corporation having talked with Ecclestone inside the Formula One Management (FOM) motorhome in Spain, an agreement was finally reached. "We are delighted that the Suzuka Circuit will now safeguard one of our most important national sporting events by playing host to the Japanese Grand Prix for the next three years," a pleased Oshima commented.
F1 supremo Ecclestone added: "I have done, and will continue to do, everything to make the Japanese Grand Prix is successful." The last Grand Prix at Suzuka, in 2006, saw Fernando Alonso's Renault clinch victory following a dramatic engine blow up for the Ferrari of championship rival Michael Schumacher.