Suzuka negotiates for 2008 return

Suzuka is hoping for a return to the F1 calendar in 2008 after it was dropped for next season in favour of the Fuji Speedway. It was thought that Suzuka could possibly hold a second Pacific race once the Toyota-owned Fuji circuit was confirmed as the host of the Japanese Grand Prix for 2007, but the chance of being on next year's schedule has gone.

Fans at Suzuka.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

"We were informed by the Formula One authorities yesterday," Suzuka official Yasuo Sugaya told Reuters in regard to the track's request to host a race in 2007 being rejected. "Obviously we feel it is a great pity. But we are continuing negotiations in order to be included from the 2008 season."

"We had been hopeful we could come to an arrangement to have two races but unfortunately it was not to be. It's still possible we can come back (in 2008) so we'll keep trying." Japan previously held two rounds of the championship in 1994 and 1995, the Japanese GP at Suzuka and the Pacific GP at Aida.

Meanwhile, in other circuit news, the Italian government has confirmed that development work at Imola is due to commence in early October. Imola was also dropped from the 2007 calendar but the 18 race provisional schedule has enough space for the San Marino GP to be reinstated in April -- providing the facilities meet with approval.

"All participants repeated their willingness to work together so that the grand prix can be held on April 29, 2007 and in following years," said a statement from the Prime Minister's office. "The government confirms that the works to modernise and improve the safety of the circuit facilities will start on Oct. 4."

Now it has launched an A1 GP team, Singapore is reportedly eyeing the prospect of hosting an F1 race. The idea is only in the early stages but a street circuit is apparently the favoured venue. Poland, which is currently enjoying Robert Kubica's success with BMW Sauber, has also recently been suggested to be building a race track that could accommodate F1.