Typhoon passes and leaves Suzuka intact

Typhoon Ma-on has passed Suzuka without inflicting any damage and Sunday's Grand Prix should go ahead as scheduled. Heavy rain and high winds battered the region but by mid afternoon Saturday the conditions eased and for the moment, at least, the...

Typhoon Ma-on has passed Suzuka without inflicting any damage and Sunday's Grand Prix should go ahead as scheduled. Heavy rain and high winds battered the region but by mid afternoon Saturday the conditions eased and for the moment, at least, the rain has stopped. The typhoon appears to have veered away from Suzuka and is heading for Tokyo.

"All that is left in Suzuka is the tail-end of the storm," said a meteorological spokesman, according to Reuters. "It has passed there and the (grand prix) shouldn't be in danger."

Saturday practices and qualifying were cancelled due to the severe weather and qualifying will now take place on Sunday morning prior to the race. Friday was rain-drenched and several drivers went off track in the practice sessions -- conditions were so bad that Saturday being cancelled was greeted with relief.

Tomorrow morning's qualifying session still has a chance of being held in wet weather. Given the strange situation, the Japanese Grand Prix could turn out to be a classic race, according to Renault's executive director of engineering Pat Symonds.

"If qualifying is held in the wet, then I think we can expect a mixed-up grid, because it is hard to believe that nobody will make a mistake in those kinds of conditions," he said. "Logically, that should produce entertaining racing -- especially on as good a drivers' circuit as Suzuka."

"Like we saw in Brazil in 2003, unpredictable conditions could well give us a very unexpected winner at the end of the race. All in all, I think tomorrow's Grand Prix has all the hallmarks of being a bit of a classic."

A reminder of tomorrow's schedule:

Sunday, October 10 revised schedule (Japanese local time)
9.00-9.45 a.m. - Pre-qualifying session
10.00-11.00 a.m. - Qualifying session
2.30 p.m. - Grand Prix of Japan (53 laps)

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Series Formula 1