Formula 1 is closely monitoring the progress of Typhoon Hagibis and its potential impact on this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix while a Rugby World Cup game in Japan has been cancelled.
The Super Typhoon is expected to make landfall on Saturday, with it currently tracking towards Tokyo some 185 miles to the east of Suzuka. However, with the typhoon around 500 miles diameter and the most powerful winds — exceeding 100mph — expected to extend some 60 miles out from its center when it makes landfall, the chance of damage and flooding will be across a large area.
A joint statement from the FIA, F1 and race organizers says they are hoping to limit the impact of the typhoon on the weekend’s schedule.
“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 minimize 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.”
The England vs France Rugby World Cup match on Saturday in Yokohama — 20 miles from Tokyo — has already been cancelled by the tournament organizers, with other matches potentially set to be affected.
F1 has the possibility to host qualifying on Sunday morning if required, having done so twice previously at Suzuka in 2004 and 2010. On the first occasion, all of Saturday’s running was cancelled on the Friday evening due to the imminent arrival of Typhoon Ma-on, a storm of similar strength to Hagibis. The last time qualifying was held on Sunday morning was at Circuit of The Americas in 2015, again due to heavy rain.