Fuji drops F1


The Fuji International Speedway, which is owned by Toyota, has announced that it is to relinquish the hosting rights for the Japanese Grand Prix from next year.

A statement issued by the circuit confirmed months of speculation regarding the future of the Japanese circuit, which returned to the F1 schedule in 2007.

"It's been only three years since we announced in March 2006 that we would be hosting the F1 Japanese Grand Prix," Fuji Speedway President Hiroaki Kato said in a statement. "That we're making this difficult decision so soon is truly heart-wrenching.

"I apologise deeply for being unable to live up to expectations," he added.

Fuji was due to host the Japanese GP again next year as part of the new deal which sees the event alternating with the (Honda owned) Suzuka Circuit, host of this year's event.

Organizers claim the global economic crisis has made it "extremely difficult" to continue hosting the event, with one source telling Reuters that the race costs between 2 billion and 3 billion yen (12m - 18m) to stage.

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Published: 07/07/2009
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