Formula 1 will continue to stage the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka until the end of the 2024 season after securing a three-year contract extension.
Suzuka has held the Japanese Grand Prix in all but two years since its first staged an F1 race in 1987, but its existing contract was due to expire after the 2021 race scheduled for October 10.
In an announcement made on Saturday morning, F1 revealed that it had agreed a three-year extension to the existing Japanese Grand Prix with the race promoter, Mobilityland.
“I am truly delighted that Formula 1 will continue to race at Suzuka Circuit for another three years,” said F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali.
“Japan holds a special place in the hearts and minds of F1 fans all over the world, and Suzuka has played host to many of the sport’s most legendary moments, with 11 drivers’ titles being decided there.
“The Japanese Grand Prix has always showcased gripping, edge-of-your-seat drama, and I am thrilled we can continue to bring the action and excitement that is Formula 1 to the passionate motorsport fans of Japan.”
Concerns had been raised about the future of F1 in Japan given the planned exit of Honda at the end of 2021, but the rise of AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda means there is likely to still be Japanese interest on the grid in the coming years.
Domenicali said the contract extension with Suzuka was “part of our long-term commitment to growing the sport in Asia”. F1 also has races in Singapore and China, while the cancelled race in Vietnam remains an avenue the series is keen to explore in the future.
“As a result of repeated negotiations with Formula 1, we have been able to conclude a contract on hosting the event from the year 2022 and onward,” said president representative director of Mobilityland, Kaoru Tanaka.
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Formula 1 members, including first of all Mr Stefano Domenicali, for the great understanding that was shown during the negotiations.
“We are determined to continue to our efforts together with local residents of Mie Prefecture and Suzuka City so that Suzuka Circuit will continue to be loved by fans all over the world and contribute to the prosperity of the motorsports culture.”
Suzuka will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2022, with Tanaka saying the track will mark the milestone by taking on “new challenges for the future while also cherishing the history and traditions of the sport so that we may provide fans with surprises, joys and emotional experiences.”