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Typhoon threatens 2014 Japanese GP

2014-10-02 16:04

RAIN WOES FOR JAPANESE GP: McLaren’s Jenson Button walks with his fiancee Jessica Michibata in the rain after a fan event at the Suzuka Circuit on October 2, ahead of the 2014 Japanese GP. Image: AP / Shizuo Kambayashi

ABHISHEK TAKLE

SUZUKA, Japan - A typhoon off the coast of Japan could threaten the 2014 Japanese Formula 1 GP scheduled for Suzuka ons Sunday (Oct 5), the sport's official weather forecaster has warned.

Typhoon Phanfone, classed a Category 4 storm, is lurking south of Japan over the Western Pacific Ocean, forecaster UBIMET said, but was forecast to move north-west on Friday, packing maximum average winds of up to 240km/h.

Although the storm is expected to pass south of Suzuka on Sunday, rain from the typhoon's northern edge could drench the circuit, steadily increasing in intensity, on the morning of the race which is scheduled to start at 3pm Japan time.

'RAIN BANDS' THREATENING

"There are still big uncertainties for the storm track in the coming days," UBIMET warrned. "The current forecast track for typhoon Phanfone keeps the eye of the storm to the south-east of Japan on Sunday but with associated rain bands extending north towards Suzuka during the morning.

"Once it starts the rain is likely to be prolonged and become increasingly heavy. At this time, nothing too severe is expected before Monday.”

Suzuka has experienced extreme weather in the past. Saturday qualifying was postponed to Sunday morning in 2004 and 2010 because of excessive rain with team mechanics famously racing paper boats down the pits lane in the latter edition of the event.

At the moment it is unclear if the race will be brought forward but it is unlikely to be delayed if it cannot be held on Sunday as there is just a week's gap to the maiden Russian GP in Sochi, the following race on the calendar.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Japanese GP.

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Read more on:    2014 japanese gp  |  japan  |  formula 1  |  motorsport

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