A race at Fuji in the spring?

UPDATE #2 The negotiations (or perhaps arguments is a better description) over the Formula 1 calendar are continuing with Bernie Ecclestone telling reporters in Brazil there is not going to be a second Japanese event at Mount Fuji. Our sources in Japan are suggesting that things are a little more complicated than that because Ecclestone is willing to have a race at Mount Fuji but only if he gets a little bit more support from Toyota when it comes to the question of the commercial settlement for the sport between 2008 and 2012. Toyota has invested massively in the Fuji circuit and would like to get a Grand Prix but Bernie would like to get the commercial questions in F1 sorted out quickly and so is rumored to be suggesting a compromise solution between the two parties.

There is a contract in place for Suzuka for the Japanese GP but this does not mean Fuji could not host a Pacific Grand Prix or indeed an Asian Grand Prix, in a similar arrangement which sees Nurburgring hosting the European GP on a regular basis. Grandprix.com

09/23/05 Bernie Ecclestone says that there won’t be a second Grand Prix in Japan at Fuji next year. In Brazil today Bernie gave a definite “No" when asked whether Fuji will happen in 2006.

“It’s been difficult for next year, but I’ve got it together now," he said. “Everything’s possible if we can get more races on the calendar. They [the teams] want to stick to 17, so we’ll have 19! It will be all more or less the same. I’m sure we won’t lose any."

09/09/05 The word on the street in Japan is that Toyota is pushing hard for a Grand Prix at Mount Fuji early next year, presumably fitting it in with the plan to hold the first three races in Bahrain, Malaysia and Australia. Logically-speaking if there was to be a fourth race on the early season swing to the Orient it would have to take place on April 16 when the teams would be on the their way back from Australia. This would mean that either the San Marino Grand Prix is dumped from the calendar, easy enough given the recent tobacco legislation decision in Italy and the poor crowd numbers at recent years, or the Imola race would have to be slotted into the calendar later in the year.

There have been two races in Japan in a year before but they were close together on the calendar and thus took spectators away from one another. With a race in the spring at Fuji and another in the autumn at Suzuka, Japanese fans would get the chance to see F1 twice in the same year. Grandprix.com

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