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Irvine: Fuji `cr*p` and does not add to F1.

Former Formula 1 star Eddie Irvine has branded Fuji Speedway – home to this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix – 'a crap circuit' and 'the worst place possible to have a grand prix', as he insisted the race should never have been taken away from Suzuka.

Irvine – who competed in 147 races in the top flight from 1993 until 2002, finishing runner-up in the F1 World Championship with Ferrari to McLaren-Mercedes' Mika Hakkinen in 1999 – spent much of his formative career in Japan, and as such knows the circuits well.

Whilst Suzuka – a perennial favourite amongst drivers for its challenging nature – welcomed the sport from 1987 until 2006 without exception, Fuji regained the race last year, and from 2009 will alternate with Suzuka every season.

The 2007 Japanese Grand Prix was notable for a heavy deluge that saw the field spend the first 19 laps behind the safety car – during which Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber and Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel collided with each other – as well as an earthquake not long after the chequered flag had fallen.

Irvine claims the return to Fuji – which was originally designated the home of the Japanese Grand Prix back in 1976, only for the venue to be stripped of that privilege just over a year later following a fatal accident that killed two spectators, and was subsequently re-designed by Hermann Tilke and bought by Japanese car giant Toyota – was motivated by solely monetary reasons, and that the switch had been a big mistake.

“To move it because of money to a very average circuit like Fuji is very disappointing,” the famously outspoken Ulsterman told Virgin Media.

“To me, Fuji is a crap circuit. It's a horrible, boring place in the middle of nowhere. The weather is usually horrible and it's just the worst possible place to have a grand prix.

“You have to say that Fuji does not add to Formula 1.”

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Paul - Unregistered

October 10, 2008 10:56 AM

100 percent spot on. Fuji is a wretched, dull circuit. But with that in mind, it''s an ideal place to host modern day F1 - dull and sterile is what F1''s all about. Suzuka on the other hand was one of the worlds greatest modern day circuits. Giving the Japanese GP to Fuji was a deal done with greed and money in mind, not the best interests of F1.

Barry Wilkinson

October 10, 2008 11:12 AM

eddie irvine hit the nail on the head that is the whole problem with f1 it has been wrecked by a couple of greedy ex brambam people who dont even care about the sport, come on bernie and max retire and let someone run the business who is passionate about f1.

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