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Japanese Grand Prix to alternate between Fuji and Suzuka 08 Sep 2007

A grid girl holds the Japanese flag. World © Sutton A view from the Grandstand Fuji International Speedway Media Event, Fuji Speedway, Japan, 3 October 2006. World © Bumstead/Sutton The grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, 8 October 2006 A Toyota Formula 1 car on the main straight. Fuji International Speedway Media Event, Fuji Speedway, Japan, 3 October 2006. World © Sutton Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, 8 October 2006

The Fuji Speedway and Suzuka circuits are to host the Japanese Grand Prix on alternate years starting in 2009, it was announced on Saturday. Fuji will stage the 2007 and 2008 events, with Suzuka returning to the calendar the following season.

The new arrangement is the result of discussions between the two circuits and Formula One Administration Limited (FOA), and is designed to promote the continued success of Formula One racing in Japan.

"We have concluded an agreement on the alternation of the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix between Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit, to ensure the progress and success of keeping Formula One in Japan over the long term,” commented FOA CEO Bernie Ecclestone.

“I am very happy that Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit made this possible. It also makes me very pleased that we will retain Suzuka as it has supported Formula One for 20 years and the large amount of our fans."

This year’s Japanese Grand Prix will be the first at Fuji since 1977, the circuit having also hosted the race in 1976, while Suzuka was home to the event every year between 1987 and 2006.

The full announcements from Fuji Speedway and Suzuka follow below.

From Fuji Speedway:
September 8, 2007
Fuji International Speedway Co., Ltd.

Hosting the F1™ Japanese Grand Prix after 2008

FUJI INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY CO., LTD. (noted as “Fuji Speedway” onward: Mr. Hiroaki Kato, President & COO) and FORMULA ONE ADMINISTRATION LIMITED (noted as “FOA” onward: Mr. Bernard Charles Ecclestone, Chairman & CEO) agreed that Fuji Speedway will host the Japanese Grand Prix again in 2008, and from 2009 on, Suzuka Circuit and Fuji Speedway will alternate and host the Japanese Grand Prix every other year.

The process started with FOA suggesting to Fuji Speedway that hosting the F1™ Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway in the east of Japan and Suzuka Circuit in the west of Japan every alternating year would be a good strategy not only welcomed by Japanese fans, but fans all over the world as well.

As a result of an extensive review of the matter, Fuji Speedway accepted FOA’s proposal on basis that it coincides with Fuji Speedway’s goal to further expand the horizon of F1, continue in helping promote the advancement of Japan’s motor sport scene, and uphold the trend of one country hosting one grand prix a year.

From Suzuka:
8th September 2007
Suzuka Circuit

Formula One Japanese Grand Prix Comes Back to Suzuka Circuit in 2009

We are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the FOA (FORMULA ONE ADMINISTRATION LIMITED, Representative: Mr. Bernie Ecclestone), who own the commercial rights to Formula One, whereby the "Japanese Grand Prix, a round of the FIA Formula One World Championship" will be held in alternate years at Suzuka Circuit (Mobilityland Corporation, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, President: Satoshi Dobashi) from the 2009 season.

Having hosted the Formula One GP at Suzuka Circuit over the course of 20 years since 1987, we celebrated the 20th anniversary in 2006, in which we had the largest ever public attendance of 161,000. Further to the announcement in the same year of a temporary halt of the event effective from 2007, and through the negotiations we have been engaged in ever since with the parties concerned in an effort to meet the expectations of the public that are eager to see the event at Suzuka and respond to the extensive support we have received from the local community in bringing Formula One back here, we finally have concluded a deal that allows Formula One GP to be held at Suzuka again. We will strive toward our goal of offering the world class Grand Prix race to our fans, while making continuous improvements in the viewing environment.

*Details of the event including the date and ticket sales will be announced later.

[Representative of FOA: Mr. Bernie Ecclestone's comments]
"We have concluded an agreement on the alternation of the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix between Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit, to ensure the progress and success of keeping Formula One in Japan over the long term. I am very happy that Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit made this possible. It also makes me very pleased that we will retain Suzuka as it has supported Formula One for 20 years and the large amount of our fans."

[President of Mobilityland Corp.: Satoshi Dobashi's comments]
"We are delighted to be able to host the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix again at Suzuka. We are happy to share the news with all our fans, who have always supported us in bringing Formula One back to Suzuka.

“We will take all possible measures to make the Grand Prix as exciting as ever through consistent efforts to improve our organization skills on a day to day basis, as we prepare ourselves to host the event two years from now. We also would like to thank the local community including Mie prefecture, cities of Suzuka, Kuwana, Yokkaichi, Kameyama, Tsu and town of Komono for their support and look forward to working with them, as we will play host to Formula One again.

“We are confident that this will go a long way toward achieving a greater success for Formula One in Japan, and further promoting motor sport as a whole.

“Last but not least, we would like to thank Mr. Ecclestone and Fuji Speedway for making it happen.”