The Japanese GP is under threat from Typhoon Phanfone with weather warnings that the race will “potentially be very wet and windy.
A rain storm descended on the Suzuka paddock on Thursday, but worse may still be to follow with Typhoon Phanfone brewing off the Japanese mainland.
According to Sky News Weather, the typhoon is ‘strengthening’ in force and ‘is expected to reach Japan over the weekend or early next week.’
Even if the storm was to strike Suzuka on race day, a postponement of the grand prix is seemingly out of the question given that this week’s event has been placed back-to-back in the calendar with the inaugural Russian GP.
“When it rains here, it really rains properly,so it’s not unusual” noted Sky F1’s Martin Brundle as he dodged Thursday’s showers. “It’s a circuit where we have had monsoon tyres available, that’s the kind of biblical proportions we have had in the past. It’s a costal track, but we have heard this all before and battened down the hatches for storms that haven’t turned up.”
Under the terms of this year’s regulations, the teams are limited to using just four set of intermediate tyres and three sets of the wets for each car over a full race weekend, a cost-saving restriction which may have the unfortunate side-effect of drastically limited running in Friday’s practice sessions in order to save up those precious compounds for the weekend’s main events.
“If it is declared a wet session on Friday then they will be given an extra set of intermediates, but it’s the wets they are going to be short of,” confirmed Brundle. “if it is a wet track in practice then we might see very little running.”
Race Day at Suzuka begins at 5.30am on Sunday with lights out at 7am.