A giant storm called Phanfone continues to inch across the Pacific and threatens to disrupt Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Officials continue to huddle as they try to figure out what to do about the typhoon, which may hit just ahead of the race’s planned start at 3 p.m. local time.
There is an option to move the race forward several hours to Sunday morning, or run it after qualifying on Saturday. Fans might recall that the 2004 weekend at Suzuka saw qualifying happen on Sunday morning after rain from typhoon Ma-on washed out Saturday’s session.
The bigger picture is that this may be a demonstration that the racing gods aren’t pleased with F1 and its decision to go to Sochi next weekend. Even if the Japanese GP gets moved up to Sunday morning or Saturday, the storm would probably keep everyone stuck in Suzuka until it passed. It will also likely disrupt all travel for days after Sunday as authorities clean up in the storm’s wake.
Many commercial flights out of Japan would likely start being cancelled by Sunday morning and getting the hundreds of crew and engineers out to Russia would be difficult at best.
Perhaps agreeing to race in a country that continues to oppress its citizens and support those who want to do the same in others, not to mention invading its neighbours wasn’t a smart move after all.
Then again, it could have nothing to do with the GP and just be nature flexing its muscles.