Officials from the FIA and Formula 1 are monitoring the progress of Typhoon Hagibis ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, with a change in the weekend schedule being a possibility.

Hagibis is currently in the North Pacific heading towards Japan. The super typhoon is expected to make landfall on Saturday with significantly high winds and heavy rain.

The Rugby World Cup match between England and France in Tokyo has already been cancelled in anticipation of Hagibis’ arrival, with concerns also being raised over the Formula 1 race weekend schedule at Suzuka.

F1 issued a statement on Thursday morning confirming it was monitoring the situation along with local authorities at the FIA.

“The FIA, Formula 1, Suzuka Circuit and the Japanese Automobile Federation are closely monitoring Typhoon Hagibis and its potential impact on the 2019 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix,” the statement read.

“Every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the Formula 1 timetable, however the safety of the fans, competitors and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit remains the top priority.

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

One possibility is a postponement of qualifying until Sunday morning, which happened in both 2004 and 2010 at Suzuka as a result of typhoons in the area.

The last qualifying session to be held on a Sunday in F1 was at the 2015 United States Grand Prix, when heavy rain meant it could not be completed on Saturday.

As per The New York Times, the highest winds of the super typhoon have been 160 mph, but are expected to weaken to 90 mph by the time it makes landfall. Anything above 150 mph is classified as a super typhoon and equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.

 

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