Fuji Speedway, which is owned by Toyota, may not return to the F1 calendar in 2010 as planned.
The track is supposed to be rotating the Japanese Grand Prix with Honda-owned Suzuka, which holds this year’s race. But the circuit operators have suggested the 2010 running is in doubt, potentially returning the Japanese round to Suzuka full-time.
I’ve never warmed to Fuji and won’t be sorry to see the back of it.
Suzuka has some of the best corners in the F1 calendar: 130R, Degner, Spoon and the Esses after the first bend.
Sat beneath picturesque Mount Fuji, Toyota’s track has fabulous scenery. But the circuit configuration pales in comparison to the vista – and the exceptional Suzuka.
The cars look lost in its vast stretches of tarmac which kill any impression of speed. And the near endless sequence of slow corners – particularly the dreadful final sequence of bends – means it has few rivals for title of F1’s least inspiring track.
If last year’s race does prove to be Fuji’s last for F1, it will complete an unusual symmetry with the last time the track was used for the world championship.
Its first race in 1976 was blighted by severe rain – then F1 returned the following year for a final race held in fine conditions. However two spectators were killed after Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson crashed during the race.
F1’s return 30 years later saw another rain-hit race and the event descended into farce as the first 18 laps (over half an hour) were spent behind the safety car. Last year’s race saw much better conditions, though the stewards let loose a few thunderbolts of their own with some truly baffling decisions.
Would you rather the Japanese Grand Prix was held at Fuji or Suzuka? Or do you think the rotation system shoiuld stay?
More on Fuji Speedway
- Why Fuji Speedway is F1’s worst track
- 1976 Japanese Grand Prix flashback
- Grand Prix flashback: Japan 1977
- Japanese GP 2007 review: Mighty Hamilton takes crucial win (updated)
- Alonso wins as Hamilton and Massa stumble (2008 Japanese Grand Prix)
- Fuji gets better toilets but still needs a roof
- 2010 F1 calendar