Japanese Grand Prix 2019: FIA could move F1 qualifying to Sunday amid concerns over Tycoon Hagibis

Evening Standard Sports 1 month ago

Qualifying for Sunday’s Formula One Japanese Grand Prix could be moved to the morning of the race as a result of Typhoon Hagibis.

The storm is expected to reach Suzuka on Saturday — when qualifying is scheduled — and organisers are making contingency plans should the conditions prove unbearable.

The worst of the conditions are expected to have passed by Sunday, so the race should not be affected, meaning

A decision on whether to postpone qualifying has been delayed until Friday.

A statement from the FIA read: "Every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the Formula One timetable. However the safety of the fans, competitors and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit remains the top priority.

Qualifying could be scheduled just hours before the race in Suzuka. Photo: Getty Images

"All parties will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates in due course."

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton says the race organisers have the full backing of the drivers as they decide what action to take.

"They are doing the utmost they can," Hamilton said.

"I am sure they are preparing, are aware that it is coming, and have procedures in place."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel echoed Hamilton's comments, although the German suggested human safety should be prioritised.

"I don't think anybody wants to put lives in danger," Vettel said. "There is a forecast, but how many times has a forecast changed?

"We will see what happens as the weekend goes on. It makes sense that when we have more evidence tomorrow night to put together a proposal or an action for qualifying then."


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