Osaka’s Formula 1 Bid Challenges Suzuka’s F1 Legacy

Osaka emerges as a potential new host for F1 in Japan, potentially displacing the historic Suzuka circuit from the Grand Prix calendar.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 14, 2024

Osaka Formula 1 Bid Challenges Suzuka

Formula 1 in Japan might be gearing up for a significant change, as Osaka has recently unveiled its ambitions to host a Grand Prix. This development poses a direct challenge to the Suzuka circuit, which has long been synonymous with the Japanese Grand Prix.

The surge in Formula 1’s popularity, partly fueled by the success of the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive, has increased the demand for Grand Prix events. The 2024 F1 season already boasts 24 rounds, a number seen as the upper limit by F1 chief Stefano Domenicali. Consequently, Suzuka, with its illustrious history in F1, faces uncertainty over its future as a host venue amidst this new competition from Osaka.

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Will the Japanese Grand Prix shift from Suzuka to Osaka?

The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau has officially announced its intention to bring Formula 1 to the city. Plans for a street circuit utilising public roads are underway to leverage the excitement surrounding the upcoming Osaka-Kansai Expo in 2025.

Hiroshi Mizohata, chairman of the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau, expressed to the Japanese publication Sankei Shimbun that the private sector primarily drives the initiative to host a Grand Prix in Osaka. He noted a shift in Formula 1 towards a “business model that can be operated on a private-sector basis”.

Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, who previously, as mayor, sought to organise an F1 street-track event in Yumeshima, expressed his full support for the bid. He stated his commitment to cooperate as much as possible with the initiative.

The future of Suzuka as the venue for the Japanese Grand Prix is uncertain, especially with its current contract ending after the 2024 race. Suzuka has been an iconic part of Formula 1 history, hosting memorable events such as the notable SennaProst collision and Kimi Raikkonen‘s extraordinary victory in 2005.

Having hosted its first World Championship Grand Prix in 1987, Suzuka has been the exclusive venue for the Japanese Grand Prix since 2009. This new bid from Osaka could mark a significant shift in the landscape of Formula 1 in Japan.


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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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