Typhoon could hit F1 preparations for Russia: forecaster

Fri Oct 3, 2014 9:46am EDT
 
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By Abhishek Takle

SUZUKA Japan (Reuters) - The worst impact from a typhoon lurking off the coast of Japan will be felt the day after the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix and could affect preparations for the next race in Russia, the sport’s weather forecaster warned on Friday.

UBIMET said that the forecast for Sunday remains unchanged with the race expected to be held in wet conditions with occasional heavy rain from Typhoon Phanfone drenching the 5.8km Suzuka circuit.

The forecaster added, however, that the center of the typhoon would pass close to Suzuka between the early and the afternoon hours of Monday and expects it to cause "widespread transport disruption, structural damage and possible injuries".

"Probably Phanfone will pass to the southeast of Suzuka. There are also model solutions that can draw the eye directly on the race circuit," UBIMET said in a statement.

"In both cases severe structural damage is expected on Monday, with possible widespread severe damage from the second case."

Formula One teams face a quick turnaround following the Japanese race and must transport equipment to Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix the following weekend.

"Keeping to this tight schedule will be wholly dependent on how the typhoon behaves and will surely be a tough challenge,” UBIMET said.

(Editing by Toby Davis)

 
McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain, with Jessica Michibata, signs autographs for fans at the Suzuka circuit in Suzuka, western Japan, October 2, 2014, ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Yuya Shino