After an action-packed – albeit rain-hit – Japanese Grand Prix, event organisers are hopeful that the Far East destination remain on the calendar beyond the 2011 expiry of Suzuka hopes to remain on the F1 calendar beyond 2011its current contract.

With the recent departures of Super Aguri, Honda, Toyota and Takuma Sato, on top of the pending departure of Bridgestone from the F1 landscape, Suzuka remains of the few bastions of Japanese involvement still in the sport, Kamui Kobayashi and Sakon Yamamoto notwithstanding of course.

“It’s under discussion, but we would like to continue,” Itaru Yamada, motorsport MD of Suzuka’s parent company, MobilityLand, told Reuters, when asked about a contract extension.

Of concern will be that the event’s attendance was some 50,000 spectators fewer than had been the case four years ago – which is particularly surprising given that prospective fans have historically had to apply for tickets via a national lottery.

Yamada added that the Japanese Grand Prix continues to be “only marginally profitable”.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.