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Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Sunday, 23 August 2009 15:02 UK

Suzuka & Valencia extend F1 deals

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport in Valencia

Hiroshi Oshima and Bernie Ecclestone
Suzuka boss Hiroshi Oshima finalises details with Ecclestone

Suzuka will host the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix after reaching an agreement with Fomula 1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone.

A separate deal has ensured that the European Grand Prix will take place at Valencia for the next five years.

The race around the Spanish city's marina took over from Germany's Nurburgring as race host last season.

Canada is also likely to rejoin the F1 calendar in 2010, which is expected to be published in October.

South Korea and India are also hoping to host inaugural grands prix but there are doubts about whether either country will be ready.

Suzuka, which is the only track on the championship with a figure-of-eight layout, made its F1 debut in 1987 and will also host the race in 2011 as contracted.

After a two-year absence it returned to this year's calendar as part of an agreement to alternate staging of the race with the Fuji Speedway circuit.


However Fuji's owners Toyota subsequently gave up hosting rights to next year's race in reaction to the global recession.

Honda's withdrawal from F1 in December raised fears it would be unwilling to make its Suzuka facility available for 2010, but a deal was secured by Ecclestone after discussions at the European Grand Prix.

"I have done, and will continue to do, everything to make the Japanese Grand Prix successful," he said.

Ecclestone has also reached an agreement that sees the Valencian government step in to fund the European Grand Prix at a reduced cost with organisers Valmor Sports.

Organisers have also requested that the race be moved from August to a date in October.

Just under 160,000 people attended the event over the last three days and organisers believe that figure will rise if the race does not coincide with the Spanish holiday period and the sweltering summer heat.

The Valencia government reported that the 2008 race, which was won by Ferrari's Felipe Massa, boosted the local economy by 403m euros (£350m).

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see also
Toyota F1 future 'not confirmed'
23 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
05 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
Massa closes on Hamilton with win
24 Aug 08 |  Formula 1
Toyota wants F1 races at new Fuji
28 Feb 05 |  Formula 1

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