The chances of running being affected at the Japanese Grand Prix appear to be rising, with Typhoon Hagibis being reported to have strengthened.
Hagibis was upgraded to a Category 5 storm on Wednesday, equivalent to a hurricane, as it continues to move through the Pacific Ocean.
It is scheduled to make landfall on Saturday, with the capital Tokyo currently estimated to be in the storm’s direct flightpath.
Suzuka lies south-west to Tokyo, with projections suggesting that the storm will pass slightly to the south of F1’s venue, but certainly close enough for serious weather disruption.
If running is possible on Friday, an order for a race can be determined from practice times – something appearing increasingly likely with team personnel, media and fans’ safety of the utmost importance.
Although Sunday is forecast for clearer and calmer conditions, it remains to be seen if Hagibis will retain enough power to cause significant damage to the circuit, which could impact the race.
Matches in the Rugby World Cup in Japan over the weekend are also under threat from the storm.
#TyphoonHagibis update: still a huge violent typhoon tracking toward Japan. Current forecasts (subject to change) take the centre right through Tokyo on Sat as a ‘very strong’ typhoon. Flooding rain & damaging winds likely.#ENGvFRA #RWC19 and #F1 quali under threat. pic.twitter.com/z6M8ghdVro
— Simon King (@SimonOKing) October 9, 2019