Bernie Ecclestone has inked a new five-year deal for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka
Aug.25 (GMM) Suzuka race promoter Hiroshi Soda has played down suggestions Honda's return to F1 will see a Japanese driver on the grid again.
It emerged this weekend at Spa that Bernie Ecclestone has inked a new five-year deal to keep the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka until at least 2018.
McLaren's works engine supplier.
Another part of the deal, it is rumoured, could be Honda ensuring a Japanese driver is on the 2015 grid.
But Soda, president of the Suzuka operator Mobilityland, insists: "That is pure speculation.
"The return of Honda is very important for us, but it would be wrong to say that automatically means a Japanese driver will be at the start," he told Speed Week.
"Of course though it would help us -- in the best of times we had a full house with 160,000 fans," he admitted.
"Of course, we will try do have this again. I expect a lot of synergy with Honda."