Japanese Formula 1 GP braced for ‘violent’ Typhoon Hagibis

Organisers for this weekend’s Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix are on alert with news that Typhoon ‘Hagibis’ is set to make landfall on Saturday.

Hagibis began its life in the open waters of the Western Pacific Ocean and has swiftly developed into a Category 5 Super Typhoon with winds in excess of 170mph. Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) is currently predicting it will reach the highest level of “violent”.

Its current trajectory means it will pass over the Mariana Island’s of Saipan and Guam on Tuesday, before shifting direction, heading north towards Japan over the course of the coming week.

Hagibis is expected to weaken as it hits lands, but winds are still expected to be in excess of 100mph.

The Japanese Grand Prix is no stranger to storms, with numerous events being affected by the tropical weather.

In 1976, Mario Andretti won a race held in torrential rain with McLaren’s James Hunt claiming the title in the final race of the season.

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The 1994 race was affected by the tail-end of Typhoon Zelda which left heavy rain battering the Suzuka circuit. Damon Hill went on to win the race ahead of Benetton’s Michael Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 event which was affected by Typhoon Phanfone, but the race will be remembered for a crash which led to the death of Jules Bianchi.

In 2004, Typhoon Ma-On hit Suzuka area on the Saturday which caused qualifying to be moved to Sunday morning