The Japanese Grand Prix could be hit by a typhoon which is set to bring wet weather to Suzuka on Sunday.

Typhoon Phanfone has been developing over the North Pacific Ocean over the past few days, with long-range forecasts uncertain as to its path. However, the latest projections see the tropical storm potentially hitting Suzuka on Sunday in to Monday, which could disrupt the race.

If the FIA deem it necessary it could bring the start time of the race forward, but no contingency plan is yet in place. The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka is no stranger to extreme weather, with qualifying postponed until Sunday in both 2004 and 2010.

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F1 weather forecasters UBIMET give the following information:

"Present indications are that Typhoon Phanfone will be centred to the southeast of Japan on Sunday but with bands of rain on the northern flank running well ahead of the centre. This would give overcast skies and persistent rain, occasionally heavy, across the Suzuka Circuit from the morning and lasting at least until the evening. It will also be much cooler with temperatures just getting above 20 Celsius. It could be a breezy day, depending on where exactly the centre of the storm is, but nothing particularly damaging until Monday when it is closest to land."

Jenson Button said the teams will need to keep a close eye on the weather forecasts in order to react appropriately.

"I hope that we can race on Sunday, that's the first thing, I think," Button said. "With a typhoon coming this way it's always very tricky. Hopefully it will miss us. It's going to be a mixed weekend in terms of weather; tomorrow there's a good chance of rain as well. I think it's really just thinking on your feet and staying on top of all the different weather forecasts."


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If that system does come close, get the hell out - never mind the sport, safety of life is paramount.

Whoever "disagreed" has obviously never been in a hurricane/typhoon (not the WWII aeroplanes). Once experienced, you don't want to repeat it.