Formula 1 will remain at Suzuka until at least 2018 after track bosses signed a new contract with Bernie Ecclestone.
Suzuka president Hiroshi Soda met with F1’s commercial manager in London this week to agree the terms of a new five-year deal which starts next season. The contract means that Japanese car manufacturer Honda, which owns the circuit, is assured of a home race when it returns to F1 with McLaren in 2015. Soda said that hopes were high the return of Honda would lead to a future upturn in ticket sales, but was not expecting an immediate, dramatic impact.
“Definitely public interest has increased since the Honda announcement, but Honda’s return is still two years away so we are not expecting a direct impact on ticket sales,” he said. “Although the Japanese GP gets no government investment, Soda said that the terms of the new contract were such that the race made financial sense for the track.
Ecclestone added: “It is great to see Honda back in F1 in 2015. I am sure that the Japanese Grand Prix will attract greater attention than ever.”