So it's farewell then to Fuji Speedway. Toyota's decision to give up hosting F1 at Fuji from 2010 went live in Tokyo yesterday but then rumours to that effect had been simmering for months, so it hardly came as a total bolt out of the blue.

Sad but kind of inevitable in the current climate, you might say. Or, shoganai (can't be helped) as the saying goes here.

Fuji is the latest victim of Toyota's urgent need to preserve cash, a situation unimaginable this time last year, but with the company now in the red and under new management, something clearly had to give.

Toyota hasn't had much fun running F1 cars at Fuji, if truth be told, and paying Bernie zillions for the privilege was becoming increasingly untenable.

So we now have Honda-owned Suzuka holding the Japanese GP in 2009 and 2011. What happens next year is currently To Be Decided, we're told, but Fuji won't now be in the frame, that's for sure.

Many in Japan actually have mixed feelings about Fuji which Toyota bought in a largely dilapidated state in 2000 as its F1 programme was then starting to come on stream.

Honda had Suzuka, so Toyota wanted a track of its own and it then spent big bucks (as in a reputed £130 million-plus) to bring it up to scratch.

After the chaotic 2007 opening race when Lewis Hamilton won in that torrential downpour (yes, I was there, soaked to the skin), things improved for 2008.

But still it was hard to warm to Fuji the way you do instinctively to Suzuka and serially inept organisation at the GP turned many people off.

That said, Fuji is not without its attractions. Yes, it has that manically long, fast straight and it's close to Tokyo. It's good for overtaking and on a clear day, with Mount Fuji as a backdrop, it's truly magnificent. Can't argue with all that.

Fuji also has bags of history and it's where James Hunt famously won the World Championship in 1976, of course.

But all along, problems with access (or the lack of it) and volatile weather have dogged Fuji which will still continue to host races, but not Grand Prix.

Anyway, let's just hope Fuji's sayonara to F1 doesn't presage Toyota's complete pull out from F1 at the end of the year which happens to be another of the rumours doing the rounds here right now. Fingers crossed, as they say.

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