Japanese Grand Prix schedule latest as Typhoon Hagibis forces F1 chiefs to make changes

Express

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11 жовтня 2019 02:55

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Typhoon Hagibis remains a category 5 Super Typhoon and could cause havoc at the Suzuka Circuit this weekend as it is predicted to bring with it winds of up to 110mph and flooding rainfall.The Super Typhoon is currently expected to reach Japan on Saturday, which is the same day as when F1 qualifying normally takes place.However, Formula one chiefs have now decided that all all activities scheduled to take place on Saturday have been cancelled and qualifying will now take place before the race on Sunday.The FIA made the announcement in a statement, it said: “As a result of the predicted impact of Typhoon Hagibis on the 2019 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, Mobilityland and the Japanese Automobile Federation (JAF) have decided to cancel all activities scheduled to take place on Saturday, 12 October.

“The FIA and Formula 1 support this decision in the interests of safety for the spectators, competitors, and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit.”Qualifying is now scheduled to take place at 2am (BST) on Sunday, with the race then expected to begin four hours later at 6.10am (BST).However, these times could still change as organisers continue to monitor the approaching storm.Severe weather has previously caused problems at the Japanese Grand Prix, although it is still a relatively rare occurrence at the Suzuka track.

Back in 2004 Typhoon Ma-on saw qualifying moved to the Sunday and the same occurred back in 2010 due to torrential weather.Typhoon Hagibis is the fastest storm to intensify from tropical storm to super typhoon status, doing so in only 18 hours and Isaac Hankes, a Weather Research Analyst at Refinitiv, believes it will be much stronger than the typhoons that affected previous race weekends.“There is a very strong possibility for disruption to the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka,” Hankes said.

“The event was affected by typhoons in 2004 and 2010 which caused qualifying to be postponed.“Typhoon Hagibis is much stronger and in a higher category compared to the 2004 and 2010 typhoons and so it’s touch and go whether Sunday could also be a wash-out.“There is a still a possibility that there will be a shift in the forecast away from land – something that we’ll be monitoring and organisers and fans will be crossing their fingers for.”

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