The GP organisers have postponed qualifying for the Japan GP to Sunday because Taifun Hagibis is approaching. Should the qualifying not take place, the FP2 will decide on the starting grid.
The GP organisers and teams are preparing for the stormy Saturday when Typhoon Hagibis is expected. The timetable for the 17th GP weekend of the season has already been adapted, all activities planned for tomorrow’s Saturday have been cancelled or postponed to Sunday morning. So the last free practice hour will not take place at all, the qualifying will take place at 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. CEST).
Should the weather on Sunday morning also be too bad to conduct the final qualifying session, the result of the second free practice session will decide the starting grid, as prescribed by Article 11.9.3.b of the Sports Regulations. Whoever has collected a starting place penalty will also have to accept it in this case.
Prior to FP2 today, Ferrari were optimistic about their chances and knew of the importance of qualifying strongly.
“We will undoubtedly try to do as good a lap as possible, should it happen that qualifying cannot take place on Sunday morning either,” confirmed Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto.
Sadly for Ferrari fans, the results of FP2 were not as good as they’d hoped as both cars failed to get on the front row (if FP2 is indeed used as the qualifying grid).
Bottas beat Hamilton with a surprise 3rd place for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Now that FP2 is done, everything that can be blown away by the storm has been cleared up.
At Mercedes, the control centre at the pit wall has been cleared away, and the partitions at the rear pit entrance also dismantled.
Most of the equipment in the pits will also be stowed further up, if possible, to prevent any flood damage. Monitors, furniture and loudspeakers will also be cleared away in the hospitality area, and measures will be taken to anticipate any power outages as the paddock braces itself for the onslaught.
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