Japanese GP qualifying postponed as Typhoon Hagibis moves in

Japanese GP qualifying postponed as Typhoon Hagibis moves in

Qualifying for the Japanese GP has been postponed as Typhoon Hagabis threatens the Suzuka circuit.

The hour-long qualifying session for the race, which had been scheduled to take place at 3pm local time on Saturday, will now take place on Sunday at 10am.

Race organisers have also taken the decision to cancel the third practice session, which usually takes place before qualifying.

However, a revised schedule issued on Friday indicated that the race itself will go ahead as planned on Sunday at 2:10pm (5.10am GMT).

A statement read: “As a result of the predicted impact of Typhoon Hagibis on the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix 2019, Mobilityland and the Japanese Automobile Federation (JAF) have decided to cancel all activities scheduled to take place on Saturday, 12 October.

Typhoon Hagibis is expected to hit Tokyo and its surrounding areas on Saturday

“The FIA and Formula 1 support this decision in the interest of safety for the spectators, competitors and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit.”

Current forecasts suggest that the typhoon will be at its most disruptive on Saturday, with the storm bringing violent winds and heavy rain.

Winds as high as 170mph and rainfall of up to 10 inches are expected across Japan.

It is not the first time torrid conditions have wreaked havoc on the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, with Typhoon Ma-on delaying qualifying in 2004 until Sunday. The same then happened in 2010 due to torrential weather.

Five years ago in Japan, Jules Bianchi hit a recovery crane in torrid conditions before succumbing to his injuries nine months later.

The FIA’s decision to cancel Saturday’s racing comes just days after England’s Rugby World Cup match with France, which was set to take place in Yokohama on Saturday, was cancelled due to the threat of the typhoon.

Tournament organisers also made the decision to call off the Pool B between New Zealand and Italy, while Scotland’s decisive Pool A clash with Japan is under review alongside Sunday’s other matches.

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