'No way' Formula 1 action can take place if typhoon hits

F1 drivers during the Japanese GP press conference

Formula 1 drivers have backed whatever decision the FIA will make with regards to Saturday’s track action at Suzuka, but say there is “no way” they can drive if anticipated conditions materialise.

Typhoon Hagibis, the strongest storm system of the year, is set to make landfall in the region on Saturday, with violent winds – gusting up to 150mph – and torrential rain expected.

Rugby Union has already cancelled two of the three planned matches that were set to take place on Saturday, including one in Nagoya, located around 50km from Suzuka, where the Japanese Grand Prix is held.

Formula 1 is monitoring the situation and a decision on Saturday’s plan will be taken on Friday.

“it’s pretty clear if the typhoon is going to come here, there is no way we can drive,” said Charles Leclerc. “Of my previous experience, I have only done one year and a half in Formula 1, but they [the FIA] have always been quite safe with the conditions.

“They always asked what we thought about the track once we were in the car. So I’m happy. We will see.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen added: “It’s going to be very clear anyway if it is possible [to drive] or not.

“At the moment, it doesn’t really look very likely on Saturday. Sunday looks fine. But yeah, let’s see.”

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel echoed such thoughts.

“I don’t think anyone wants to put anyone’s life in danger,” he said. “So I think we need to keep things on the ground. There is a forecast, but how many times have forecasts changed? I don’t know. Currently it sits at 100% so it’s quite clear.

“But I think we see what happens throughout the weekend, it’s the same thing, if we have a lot of rain in other places, then there is a red flag and maybe the light might never switch to green.

“It would make sense if by tomorrow at night, I believe if there is more evidence to give a proposal, or take an action for Saturday, thinking not for us, as it’s cosy in the garage, but for all the people to be around the track is not so nice, if you sit there if there’s 80kph of winds blasting in your face.”