Toyota confirm Fuji Speedway will not hold an F1 race in 2010

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Fuji's F1 return has fizzled out after two years

Toyota has admitted the Fuji Speedway will not be on the 2010 F1 calendar, confirming rumours that circulated at the end of May.

As I said at the time, I’m not sorry to see Fuji go – it’s not a great circuit in its own right and it pales in comparison to Suzuka, which will hold this year’s race. What’s your reaction?

Are you sad to see Fuji go?

  • No opinion (10%)
  • No (66%)
  • Yes (24%)

Total Voters: 1,149

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Question will inevitably be asked if Toyota is not prepared to spend an eight-figure sum on having a Grand Prix, whether it will be content to spend a nine-figure sum on having a Grand Prix team.

Last month new Toyota chief Akio Toyoda said it will take two years for the company to return to profit. In the last financial year it posted its first loss in over 70 years, of Yen461bn (�2.91bn/$4.8bn).

Toyota’s F1 team has been believed to be the highest-spending outfit since it arrived in the sport in 2002. Its 2008 budget was estimated at $445.6m. Reuters suggests it was costing Toyota �12-�18m ($19.4-29.1m) per year to hold the Grand Prix at Fuji.

Fuji held four F1 races: in 1976 and 1977, and on the Hermann Tilke-redesigned track in 2007 and 2008.

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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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33 comments on “Toyota confirm Fuji Speedway will not hold an F1 race in 2010”

  1. Possibly the most boring circuit……in the world.

    Rediculously long straight followed by a few pointless corners, followed by a few more pointless corners.

    Suzuka rules, second best circuit (after Spa).

    Hopefully a few more Tilke-dromes get chucked to the side along with Fuji.

    Nice article Keith.

    1. Yes, your’re right, the only cool thing of Fuji is Monte Fuji.

      But the problem behind this is another circuit giving up because the economic scheme of Bernie and his “all for me” policy.

      Next one will be… ¿China?, ¿Germany? ¿Belgium? (in no particular order). I read somewhere that china is not going to renew his current agreement…

      1. at least it has overtaking points – and produces overtaking – and the best wet weather battle i’ve seen in a long time (massa v kubica)…

  2. I only saw last year’s race there and did not like it that much, so if the race will be at Suzuka every year then it’s a good deal in that sense.

    But again, you look at the Hockenheimring being in financial trouble and now this…even the circuits with major backing are struggling with their races. It points to the same fundamental problem with prices and fees that we’ve all spoken about far too often.

  3. if they didn’t use that pointless chicane I would have enjoyed it more. but both races were terrible. why they didn’t keep the original circuit intact is beyond me. it used to be a great track and venue.

    wasn’t happy to see it join, overjoyed that it is gone!!!

    1. Casino Square
      7th July 2009, 20:56

      ‘Both races were terrible’??? No they weren’t, especially not 07.

      I seem to be in a minority in that I actually liked Fuji- it had some history with the Hunt/ Lauda championship battle, there were some decent corners and hilly terrain, the setting on the edge of a mountain looked great, there was the novelty of the giant straight and overtaking was relatively easy. But I suppose Susuka is even better.

    2. Fuji 07 and 08 were both amazing!!

  4. pre tilke fuji was a cool track i think

  5. i didn’t see the 2007 and 2008 races, but from the onboard laps i’ve seen, i think we’re not missing much without the race there…
    suzuka, spa, monaco and interlagos are the best circuits in the current f1 race calendar, and it would e amazing if montreal could come back, so we can all see what f1 is really about…

  6. My answer to the poll question depends on if Honda is willing/can afford to have Suzuka host the Japanese GP every year. If so, then no, I am not sad to see Fuji go. But, if Honda can’t make Suzuka work every year then yes.

    I think Japan is the only Asian country that has any sort of real motorsport heritage, and as such deserves to have a race every year. So if the choice is between alternating Suzuka and Fuji or between Suzuka and nothing, I would choose the former. However, if there is a better track than Fuji to alternate with Suzuka, that would work even better. Unfortunately, the only other track I know of in Japan is Motegi, but that is owned by Honda as well and the road course is not that great.

    Are there any great tracks in Japan that would be better than Fuji to alternate with Suzuka?

    1. Casino Square
      7th July 2009, 22:30

      Aida? Mabye not.

      I’ve just had an idea! How about a night race through the streets of Tokyo! Now that would be special.

      1. Maybe Autopolis could finally get a F1 race, alternating with Suzuka? :D

        1. Wasn’t Autopolis expected to hold a race in the mid-90s but the deal fell through and Donington ended up taking its place?

  7. StrFerrari4Ever
    7th July 2009, 21:21

    Hallelujah that atrocious race is gone leaves more space for more worthy tracks like Montreal , Indianapolis & other circuits that provide good racing.You could tell last year(as i woke up at 3 blimming am to watch the practice sessions)that the weekend was going to be hard to enjoy the corners looked so mickey mousey and had no real flow it was just randomness after randomness and that long straight isn’t as satisfying as the cars weren’t close to 330km/h but were being restricted by high downforce for those little gay corners oh Fuji drives me up the wall.

  8. leaves more space for more worthy tracks like Montreal

    Unfortunately, if that is the case, then it will be at the expense of Suzuka as well.

    Hopefully Suzuka will just take over every year, woohoo!!

    1. StrFerrari4Ever
      7th July 2009, 22:05

      yes that could be a possibility but I think FOTA would try to keep Suzuka on the calendar if Bernie thinks otherwise.

  9. The biggest problem with that circuit was the stadium section. It completely ruined the flow of the track. Completely. And it was pointless as well. Such corners never help overtaking. They don’t make the cars run closer at all because of the higher aerodynamics needed to keep the car stable into the corner entry and then into the exit. This will create more disturbances and the cars would be further away then they were before. Fast corners are becoming are a rare breed nowadays. :(

  10. I agree Keith that this could be the precursor to the withdrawal of Toyota from F1. It’s not like they are a front running team, and don’t look likely to ever be.

  11. Fuji and Valencia are the only two tracks whose layout I cant remember off the top of my head. I know first corner turns right and there are some mickey mouse turns at the end, thats all it.

    So I am not sorry to see it out. Goodbye Fuji, take Shangai or Bahrain and Valencia with you.

  12. Fuji is quite harshly treated, I think. It’s not a great circuit, but the two recent races were still quite good.

    1. The sri lankan
      8th July 2009, 2:00

      i totally agree. atleast the last 2 fuji races were action packed despite the boring label its been given. along with its first ever f1 race, this is the only circuit that “accidentally” offered excitement for the fans. as a toyota fan i am sorry to see it go. hope it returnes someday after being modifies by some one other than herman tilke

  13. the races weren’t bad, but it can never touch Suzuka!
    Great for us:)

  14. i’m with the majority here. but i must admit however that the 2 races held here so far were crucial in deciding the championships. 2007 was the turning point for alonso, his championship almost ended when he crashed out & last year ofcourse we had that huge pile up at the first corner & massa stupidly taking out lewis. the final sector is very twisty. i requires absolutely extremely high mechanical grip. anyway it is being replaced by one of the most exciting circuits, so i’m not complaining. & i would like to know what happened to aida(pacific gp) last held in 1994. somehow i like that circuit when i drive in rfactor.

    1. I think it still hosts Super GT, though I remember F1 found it to be worse than Fuji in almost every possible way.

  15. I am with the minority here.

    Those saying that the last 2 races were boring have clearly slept through the race. 2007 and 2008 races were excellent.

    Plus one unparalleled advantage of Fuji over any other track in the world (barring Spa perhaps) is that it is in close vicinity of a sublime Mount Fuji. Apart from that providing great snapshots of cars in the backdrop of a snow covered mountain, it also makes the entire region very fickle in terms of weather. Thus, the chances of rain (and thus, exciting race) are much higher.

    Also, this could be a forerunner to Toyota’s withdrawal from the sport. Which, no one wants.

    Suzuka, no doubt is an exceptional track, one of the best in the world. However, do you guys know who owns the Suzuka track? and what did their owners do to their previous team? Do you still think the owners would continue hosting the race after the contract expires in 2010?

  16. Prisoner Monkeys
    8th July 2009, 6:51

    I think the biggest problem with Fuji was its location. Even if they’d kept the old incarnation untouched for Formula One, it was still sitting in the shadow of its namesake, Mount Fuji. Its poisitioning left it wide open to fog and the kind of torrential rain that sees the cars jsut do laps behind the safety car.

  17. How many tens of millions did Toyboata spend to have the circuit Tilkefied, just for a two year run in the championship?

    1. Toyota say there will be no race at Fuji in 2010. They definitely do NOT say from 2010 so maybe there is a problem for 2010 and it will be back after that.
      And yes they really do need a toyboata at fuji when it’s wet, maybe driven by Jeremy Clarkson? He can’t do any worse than the current drivers lol

  18. Maybe in 2036 and 2037 the track will crop up on the calendar for a couple more stabs at a race, on a track redesigned by Herman Tilke Jr. It will probably rain then too.

  19. If it means we get Suzuka back every year I am glad Fuji has gone, but as the article pointed out it does raise questions about the future of Toyota’s F1 team.

  20. Maurice Henry
    8th July 2009, 20:35

    I think this is the inevitable end game for many of the deals Bernie Ecclestone has done over the years. Don’t be too quick to rejoice at this news. As with Hockenheim and Nurburgring in Germany, alternating a grand prix between two circuits is a way for the promoters of both to halve the, depending on how well you get on with Bernie, eye wateringly high FOM franchise fee. Will Honda be prepared to subsidise this event when they don’t even, at the very minimum, supply engines to any of the participants? I doubt it.

  21. I loved the pure speed of the front straight, and the long fast 3rd turn. Other than that, the circuit was not that great. The design of the newer track still had some the key points to the old track, but I found the old track to be boring as well.

    The two races at the track weren’t all that boring, but in my opinion this is due to the aspect of them being in the latter part of calender.

    It’s nice to see diversity in tracks like the rotation in some parts of the world, but in Japan nothing can compete than Suzuka.

  22. I nearly voted ‘no opinion’ because it’s such a dull track and I always forget about it.

    I’ll be enthusing to friends about the unchallenged awesomeness of Suzuka and then think…oh, hang on, it’s Fuji. I get disappointed when Fuji pops up in the next race on Gran Turismo, too…

Comments are closed.