Suzuka will host the Japanese Grand Prix [ Images ] next year as well as in 2011, the operators of the Honda-owned circuit said on Sunday after meeting Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone [ Images ].
Next year's race had been due to be hosted by Toyota's [ Images ] Fuji facility under an agreement to alternate but was thrown into doubt last month when that circuit gave up the hosting rights due to the global economic downturn.
Suzuka is also the venue for this season's race in early October but, following Honda's shock decision to withdraw from Formula One late last year, had not been sure to fill the gap before their next contracted race in 2011.
"We are delighted that the Suzuka circuit will now safeguard one of our most important national sporting events by playing host to the Japanese Grand Prix for the next three years," Hiroshi Oshima, president of Mobilityland Corporation, operators of the Honda-owned circuit, said in a statement.
Details of the contract, signed on the side of Ecclestone's bus in the European Grand Prix paddock in full view of reporters and photographers and then sealed with a formal handshake, were not divulged.
"I have done, and will continue to do, everything to make the Japanese Grand Prix successful," said Ecclestone.
The Briton said Valencia's place on the grand prix calendar was also safe, despite disappointing ticket sales this year and a dull debut in 2008. "Absolutely, 100 percent," he declared when asked if it would continue.
Talks with Argentina are also continuing for an eventual return to Buenos Aires.
"They have got to put everything together so we know whether its a street race or what's going to happen or a new circuit or whatever," he said.
"We are talking and I hope we can achieve something so that we can return to Argentina," he said. Formula One last raced in that country in 1998.