Debate: Fuji vs Suzuka

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The Japanese Grand Prix switches venues this year from Suzuka to Fuji. But Suzuka will be back on the calendar in 2009.

But while the former is all high-speed turns and fast flicks, the Fuji Speedway is dominated by an enormous straight and then a lot of slow corners.

It might not be as demanding as Suzuka, but it could well produce great racing and the setting looks fantastic. Are you looking forward to Fuji? Leave your comments below.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Debate: Fuji vs Suzuka”

  1. I am a bit sorry not to see Suzuka on the calendar this year, but it looks like the Fuji track may bring some excitment too. The track’s setting is just amazing. I was in that area few months ago, unfortunatelly not at the track itself. It is beautiful area, easyly accessible from Tokyo. The Fuji mountain is one of the best sights you can see anywhere. Nice hot springs not too far, so for the travelling fans this can be good place to combine race weekend with short holidays.

    The interesting part can be the weather. I spent 4 days there back in March exepriencing all possible sorts of weather. Hot sunny one day, pouring rain and chill the next day. Sort of Spa kind of weather.
    It will be interesting to see how the drivers will get going on this track they never raced and how much of and advantage it will be for Spyker – both their drivers raced the new Fuji track during their Japan racing days.
    What disapoints me are no grandstands at the end of the long straight facing the straight. I am not sure if that was considered too dangerous, but there are grandstands like that at Sepang for example…

  2. That is the section of track where a couple of spectators were killed during the last Grand Prix at Fuji, in 1977. I think they were standing in a restricted area though. I expect the whole configuration is different now.

  3. – the run off area is huge, then there is a forest. Seems like some grandstands could have been placed there safely

  4. Am I looking forward to the new Fuji Track – In a word “No” !n 3 words “No I’m Not”

    Suzuka was one of the great driving challenges on the F1 calender, the new Fuji track looks less challenging than Brands Hatch Indy track. What’s with those anoying chicanes that break up the feel of the place in the last 3rd of the lap?

    The only good thing will be turn 1, hopefully Lewis will be able to outbreak a few people into there, but I can’t wait to get back to Suzuka!

  5. For anyone that’s driven the new Fuji in Gran Turismo 4, they know it’s Tilke’s worst and it’s just a parking lot. It’s a terrible track, there’s no real debate, Suzuka is a legend for a reason.

  6. Suzuka has great fast corners, whereas Fuji is full of hairpins.
    Which would you rather have, because I think I know.

  7. Despite it’s amazing setting, I don’t think there’s any way that Fuji can compare to Suzuka. This circuit seems really unbalanced. Overall it seems pretty basic and fast until you arrive at the last 3rd of the lap, and suddenly it’s all chopped up with tight turns everywhere. That chicane or whatever immediately after turn 7 (by my count) just seems so uneccesary. By contrast Suzuka has an almost perfect balance of slow, medium, and high speed corners.

    The massive straight (1500m apparently?) is the only thing this circuit really has going for it. At that length there has to be SOME overtaking, but my expectations of this circuit producing an exciting race are pretty low.

  8. Well, I looked it up, and apparently the corner I referred to as turn 7 is in fact turn 10.

  9. Eric, you’re right. I am certain it will be a parade.

  10. Most people found the race at Spa-Francorchamps to be rather dull. Seeing as how the characteristics of the Suzuka circuit are very similar to Spa, one could suggest that, in dry conditions, with the current aerodynamic developments, the racing at Suzuka won’t be much better. Maybe, hopefully, a race at a track with a particular feature – a 1.5 km straight – might provide us with some close racing after all. The micro climate and fast changing weather conditions might add to that as well.

  11. Porthos is completely right! I also think we will have interesting battles at the end of the longest straight in Formula 1. Probably the last part of the track is really boring… is quite similar to Monte-Carlo…

  12. Here is a onboard lap of Fuji:

  13. I -do- look forward to F1 at Fuji, though I agree with those that don’t like that the sweeping corner that used to end it will instead be a series of chicanes.

    Is Suzuka more difficult? Yes. That doesn’t mean that Fuji won’t have its own charm, but I look forward to seeing Suzuka back in the calendar, too.

    I expect Fuji to watch like Canada if Circuit Gilles Villeneuve had hills.

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