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Fresh F1 street race plan draws inspiration from US Grands Prix

Fresh F1 street race plan draws inspiration from US Grands Prix

Fresh F1 street race plan draws inspiration from US Grands Prix

GPFans Staff
Fresh F1 street race plan draws inspiration from US Grands Prix

F1 may soon feature two races in Japan, as the city of Osaka throws its hat into the ring as a potential host.

Renowned for its rich sporting history, Osaka, Japan's third-largest city, is no stranger to major events, having hosted matches during the 2002 FIFA World Cup and serving as the home to J-League football clubs Gamba Osaka and Cerezo Osaka.

With ambitious plans, Osaka's tourism board officially declared its intention to bring F1 to the city during a press conference in January 2024.

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Currently, the F1 calendar stands at 24 races, with eight conducted on non-permanent circuits and the remaining 16 on permanent circuits. Recently, the trend has been for F1 to add non-permanent circuits to its calendar, with Madrid being confirmed as the host of the Spanish Grand Prix in place of Barcelona from 2026.

However, despite initial concerns, Osaka will not replace Suzuka as the home of the Japanese GP, with the iconic circuit signing a new contract to continue hosting F1 races until 2029.

“About a year before we announced our intention to host F1, we have been conducting various surveys, including on-site visits to overseas Grand Prix, including Australia, Las Vegas, and Singapore,” explained Hiroshi Mizohata, chairman of the Osaka Tourism Bureau in an interview with Japanese publication auto-sport web.

“[We] [have] not held any specific negotiations with FOM [Formula One Management]. However, although there is a principle of holding one Grand Prix per country, three races will be held in the United States, and three races will be held in Italy. We have repeatedly investigated the background behind the two races being held in Japan and have come to the conclusion that if we put together a solid business scheme, create an accepting environment, and follow the necessary steps, the possibility of holding the event is not zero.

"First of all, we have to present to FOM the direction in which Osaka should approach F1. Therefore, during the regular press conference on January 23rd, we said, Thanks to you, right after the announcement was made at the press conference, we received inquiries from many companies, and we have also received calls from overseas investors expressing interest.

“We are discussing how this corporate entity will generate revenue and expenditure. It is also a place to do business. When creating a management income and expenditure plan from raising funds, it is important to consider whether to build a permanent circuit or to hold the event on public roads, which has strong opinions from fans, as well as business viability and sustainability.”

It wouldn’t be the first time F1 has held two races in Japan, with the TI-Aida circuit near Mimasaka in Okayama hosting the Pacific GP from 1994 to 1995. However, the race was dropped from the F1 calendar for 1996 due to the circuit being located in a rural part of Japan.

Michael Schumacher proved to be a master of the TI-Aida circuit, winning both Pacific GPs and, in 1995, the German secured his second world title at the venue.

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