Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix will be held on Sunday morning after all of Saturday’s track running was cancelled due to the impending arrival of Typhoon Hagibis.
The Super Typhoon is forecast to make landfall in Japan on Saturday, with Formula 1, the FIA and the race organizers having been monitoring the situation over the past week. Saturday’s games in the Rugby World Cup – also being held in Japan – were cancelled on Thursday, and F1 has now followed suit by cancelling Saturday’s activities and revising the schedule on Sunday.
Qualifying will now take place at 10 a.m. local time on Sunday morning, with the race itself then held a little over three hours after the end of qualifying at its original time of 2:10 p.m. The race can’t be moved any later due to sunset occurring around 5:30 p.m. and having a maximum four-hour window in which to take place.
“As a result of the predicted impact of Typhoon Hagibis on the 2019 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, Mobilityland and the Japanese Automobile Federation (JAF) have decided to cancel all activities scheduled to take place on Saturday, 12 October,” a statement from F1 and the FIA read. “The FIA and Formula 1 support this decision in the interests of safety for the spectators, competitors, and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit.”
The track will be closed to spectators and media on Saturday, but Friday’s action takes place as normal. In the event of the weather conditions not allowing qualifying to go ahead as planned on Sunday, it is expected that the order from FP2 will be used to decide the grid.
Sunday morning qualifying last took place at the United States Grand Prix in 2015, while it has also occurred on two previous occasions in Japan – in 2004 and 2010.