Formula 1 team bosses have praised the early decision to reschedule the Japanese Grand Prix weekend format in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis.

F1 confirmed on Friday morning that no on-track action will take place at Suzuka on Saturday due to the approaching super typhoon Hagibis, which is forecast to make landfall in Japan on Saturday.

Other major sporting events have also been disrupted, with two Rugby World Cup matches being cancelled, while many of travel links in the country have also been affected.

Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix will now take place on Sunday morning at 1000 local time (0200 BST) ahead of the race.

Speaking about the decision, Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur commented: “I think that it’s safety first and probably it makes no sense to ask the spectators to come on track and then to be in a big mess.

"In terms of schedule and programme for the team, we already thought about this yesterday evening honestly.

“OK, it will change the programme but I think we can afford the weekend with two free practices. Perhaps it will be a good exercise for the future.”

Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto concurred with Vasseur’s view, adding:  “First I think it’s a shame for the fans but it’s a fully respectable decision, safety is first.

“In terms of programmes, certainly it’s a lot more intense now. We are certainly skipping one session, which is FP3.

“Qualifying maybe occurring on Sunday morning. But it means that today it will be a lot more intense.

“We’ve got, eventually, more tyres to be used - the ones from FP3. We need to set up the car for the Quali on Sunday morning.

“There’s just a session less. Things are more complicated but certainly a great challenge but I’m pretty sure it should be a good show and spectacle on Sunday.”

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul believes it will provide F1 with an opportunity to assess potential future tweaks to the current weekend format.

“It has happened before and it will happen in the future,” he said. “There is enough time on Sunday to conduct both qualifying and the race.

“I think maybe it will give us an impression of Formula E, maybe a little bit, so not a bad thing.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner agreed the call was the “right decision” from the organisers.

 

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