Auto Culture

2019 Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying Postponed By Typhoon Hagibis


Typhoon Hagibis is having its way with the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix as Formula One has cancelled all activities at the Suzuka circuit on Saturday as the tropical super-storm closes in on Japan.

Typhoon Hagibis began as a Super Typhoon [Category 5 level] and was downgraded to a Category 3 over the course of the week but despite the downgrade, is still the world’s biggest storm to date [slightly larger than Dorian, which hit the Bahamas last month] Typhoon Hagibis is due to hit Japan on Saturday and strong winds are set to continue into Sunday, when qualifying and race is currently still scheduled to be held.

Two practice sessions were able to be completed before the track’s closure and Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton to a Mercedes one-two in second practice session – with all the usual suspects [Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s] close behind.

The qualifying session will now be held four hours before the official race start and both – of course – are dependent on Typhoon Hagibis. Suzuka is expected to be hit by high winds and heavy rain throughout Saturday as it makes its way north towards Tokyo.

Although the storm has weakened slightly, race officials have expressed concern that potential damage to the track from the storm might cancel or delay the already postponed qualifying session.

Formula One is expected to make another announcement tomorrow as the storm’s track and damage are assessed.

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