Suzuka green light for Japanese GP to 2018
The Japanese Grand Prix is to remain at Suzuka until 2018, according to multiple media reports from Spa-Francorchamps, where the Belgian Grand Prix is taking place this weekend.
A new five-year contract between the circuit, regarded as one of the most challenging in motorsport, and Formula One Management was reportedly agreed in London this week.
The new contract will kick-in from 2014 with this year's race, scheduled for 13th October, the final year on the current contract.
Officials from Suzuka, which is run by the Mobilityland Corporation, were in the paddock at Spa on Friday. Although there are no Japanese drivers currently competing in Formula One, the return of Honda, as McLaren's new engine partner, from 2015 has raised hopes that the sport will see a resurgence in what has traditionally been one of its strongest markets.
Autosport quoted Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's chief executive as saying: "It is great to see Honda back in Formula One in 2015. I am sure that the Japanese Grand Prix will attract greater attention than ever."
Suzuka returned to the Formula One calendar in 2009 after the Japanese Grand Prix spent two years at Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway. The circuit first staged a Grand Prix in 1987.
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