Qualifying abandoned

With torrential rain falling on Friday evening in Japan and Typhoon 22 due to hit the area at midday tomorrow, Suzuka circuit, the FIA and the F1 teams have taken the decision to abandon Saturday's Japanese GP schedule on safety grounds

Qualifying abandoned

Typhoon 22 has been upgraded to Super Typhoon risk status and the decision has been taken on the grounds that to continue would present big unacceptable risks to both spectators and those at the circuit. Suzuka is set amid a big fairground complex, with a number of entertaining and advertising structures, hoardings and so forth, which could all present worrying hazards in the face of winds that, it is anticipated, could reach speeds of 110mph.

Race officials have confirmed that pre-qualifying will now begin at 9am on Sunday morning, with official qualifying beginning at 10am. The race will begin as scheduled at 2.30pm.

BAR team principal David Richards said: "I noticed everyone stocking up with sandwiches and Alpine bars and trying to book the Log Cabin for lunch tomorrow! It's very unfortunate for the fans and the poor people who sat in the stands today and didn't see much action.

Just before the decision was taken to abandon Saturday, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said: "Let's just hope that the aftermath of the typhoon doesn't interfere with the race, because it's bad enough that we don't have qualifying but if we also have a poor or aborted race, that would be even worse for the fans."

Autosport.com will let you have any updates as soon as we have them.

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