Rain, Suzuka, 2017

F1 braced for “violent” Super Typhoon Hagibis at Suzuka

2019 Japanese Grand Prix weather

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Super Typhoon Hagibis, a “violent” storm currently heading towards Japan from the south, is being “closely monitored” by all parties involved in running this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The storm is expected to reach the track from Friday evening, bringing severe wind and rain which will last throughout Saturday. Japan’s Meteorological Office expects that by the time it passes over Suzuka, Hagibis will be over 200 kilometres wide and its winds could hit 230kph.

Contingency plans may therefore be needed for Saturday, when final practice and qualifying are scheduled to take place. The FIA, Formula 1 Management, Suzuka Circuit and the Japanese Automobile Federation say “every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the Formula 1 timetable” but added “the safety of the fans, competitors and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit remains the top priority”.

Suzuka is no stranger to severe weather. Five years ago the Japanese Grand Prix was run in very wet conditions as Typhoon Phanfone passed through the area. During the race Jules Bianchi crashed and suffered severe injuries from which he later died.

Qualifying was postponed to Sunday during the 2004 race, due to Super Typhoon Ma-On, and again due to heavy rain in 2010. Two years ago Pierre Gasly’s bid to win the Super Formula title at Suzuka was thwarted when two races were cancelled due to another typhoon.

Teams should be able to get some practice done in dry conditions on Friday. But Saturday could be a complete washout and the forecast for Sunday does not look encouraging either, with a high probability of further rain which will last into Monday.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    9 comments on “F1 braced for “violent” Super Typhoon Hagibis at Suzuka”

    1. It’s definitely going to be a doozy of a storm but I think they may have the time schedule of when it’s suppose to hit wrong in this article. It will start moving much faster tomorrow than it is now and all the weather trackers are in Zulu time and need to be converted to Japan standard time which is a big difference (9 hrs) pushing everything further ahead.

      Saturday certainly looks be a non day with everyone most likely will forced to batten down the hatches and hunker in and eat ramen (and maybe some hot sake) based on the latest wind and rain forecast. Although Suzuka could be spared the worst of it if the storm starts to track even more right staying further off the coast. Fingers crossed

    2. It wouldn’t be a nice place to be as a spectator if that weather comes in. There’s precious little undercover seating, and not that much cover in anywhere else. It’s a damn long walk back to the shuttle buses too. Take your gumboots (Wellingtons).

      1. You are not joking… I was at the track today and there are no covered zones except by the grandstands at the main straight. I do hope that on Sunday the weather is better because it would be an absolute waste of money to have the race cancelled.

        1. @krichelle Don’t worry about the race, it won’t get cancelled.

          1. Yeah, they could end up coasting around behind the safety car for 20 laps then red flag it…

        2. I was in stand B last year, great view and there is a little bit of shelter underneath. We had the tail end of a storm so it was just a little windy for a while. Good luck @krichelle

    3. “every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the Formula 1 timetable”

      What does that *actually* mean in this context? They can’t amend the weather or relocate the race. It sounds like FIA fluff designed to read like someone’s actually doing something.

      Really the issue ought to be more along the lines of “does choosing to review and possibly amend the Formula 1 timetable actually result in less unplanned disruption”

      1. OK, to reply to myself, looks like the support series for the weekend are all cancelled?

    4. We had a hurricane and tornado at the US GP a few years ago. The track was a foot deep with water for qualifying and half the race was behind a safety car, but it went on!

      I’m most worried about the trains not being active.

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