Date: 10th March 2011 at 10:02am
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The contract with Formula 1 to host the Japanese Grand Prix has been extended by Suzuka for the 2012 season.

It had been feared that the popular track could be dropped from next seasons calender following a decline in Japanese involvement in the sport following the withdrawals of Toyota and Honda.

The United States Grand Prix is scheduled to be added to the calendar for next season, with a new purpose built track in Austin, Texas and with Suzuka’s contract running out this season, many thought that Formula One would not be heading back to Japan next year.

However following the reports from the BBC, the axe is now set to drop elsewhere.

Suzuka is one of the most recognisable tracks on the F1 calendar as it is the only figure-eight race track in F1, it has also witnessed 12 World Champions being crowned due to often being one of the final races of the season.

While its future is secure for the next two seasons, it will continue to be at risk over the next few years with Russia set to be added to the calendar in 2014.

Despite being one of the most popular tracks on the schedule, the issue, as always is money, Suzuka is one of a few tracks to not receive government backing and thus, it struggled to compete with new venues such as Korea and India who pay fees of anywhere in the region of £30million to £50million to Formula One management to host a race.

The new tracks often lack character, lack excitement and obviously do not have the nostalgia that tracks such as Suzuka has.

While F1 continues to expand into new markets to develop ‘Brand F1’, it also needs to remember what made it so great to begin with and tracks like Suzuka have played their part and that is worth much more than a quick buck or indeed ruble.