Japanese F1 race to continue at Suzuka until 2029

The race will take place at a new April slot this year

By Web Desk
February 02, 2024
Japanese Grand Prix. - F1 

The Formula One said on Friday that the Japanese Grand Prix will continue at Honda-owned Suzuka until at least 2029 after a five-year contract extension was signed.

The race will take place at a new April slot this year, as round four between Australia and China, as part of Formula One's efforts to have a more efficient flow of races and reduce the carbon footprint with shorter freight distances.

"Suzuka is a special circuit and part of the fabric of the sport, so I am delighted that F1 will continue to race there until at least 2029," F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali said in a statement.

Suzuka is a challenging and hugely popular circuit with drivers but its place on the calendar had been questioned with talk of a street race in Osaka possibly taking its place.

Earlier, Lewis Hamilton's multi-year deal to race for Ferrari from 2025 means the seven-times world champion is likely to see out his Formula One career in red, the most successful driver in the history of the sport racing for the most decorated team.

If the surprise news shook the sport on Thursday, coming only five months after the 39-year-old Briton signed a two-year extension with Mercedes, there was also logic to the switch.

Hamilton has long had a fascination with Ferrari, even if Mercedes have backed him from boyhood, and speculation about a potential dream-come-true move to Maranello has punctuated his career.

He has owned the Italian sportscars and, over the years, acknowledged the allure of the most historic and glamorous of marques.

"It's definitely going to be crazy to think that I never drove for Ferrari," he said in 2021. "Because for everyone that's a dream position to be in."

— Additional input from Reuters