Saturday, October 12, 2019
If the qualifying fails, Hamilton "only" starts from second place, but could already bag the constructors' championship with colleague Bottas.
(Photo: imago images / HochTwo)
Verstappen zockt Fifa, Grosjean makes model cars: Instead of driving on the Suzuka Circuit qualifying, put the Formula 1 in Japan a compulsory break. If typhoon does not pull off "Hagibis" in time, the cold start threatens the race. Mercedes would be happy about that on the way to the first season title.
The roads near Shiroko Station in Suzuka are empty. Formula One fans are not in sight this Saturday in the city in Mie Prefecture. The typhoon Hagibis has brought the premier league of motorsport in about 300 kilometers as the crow flies southwest of the capital Tokyo distant PS Mecca to a standstill. Caution from the impending cyclone, the organizers of the 17th of 21 season races had canceled in advance all activities for the day , "This is a perfectly comprehensible decision, safety first," said Sebastian Vettel Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto to cancel the final training and the transfer of the qualification on Sunday (3:00 clock / RTL, Sky and Liveticker at n-tv.de ). Continuous rain and gusts of wind would not have allowed a smooth and safe starting place hunt on the Suzuka Circuit. Only for the fifth time in the history of Formula 1 qualification and race were scheduled for the same day. Wind speeds up to 216 km / h On Japanese television, the typhoon was the dominant theme. Again and again people were warned of the forces of nature and asked to bring themselves to safety. In particular, from coastal stretches, where high waves prevailed, they should stay away. Until Sunday, the tropical storm should be heading north. "The big question mark will be in what condition the course is," Vettel had said after the second free practice. The extremely strong typhoon "Hagibis" reached, according to the Japanese weather authority JMA shortly before 19.00 clock (local time) located southwest of Tokyo Izu Peninsula. The JMA had warned of a "serious catastrophe" by "Hagibis", which reached maximum speeds of 216 km / h. Should also fail the qualification due to adverse weather conditions, the starting rows would set up after the unit from Friday afternoon. Vettel would be in this case fifth, behind Leclerc in fourth place. Full front were Valtteri Bottas and world champion Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes in the race (7.10 clock / also on RTL, Sky and n-tv.de Liveticker) prematurely could bring the sixth constructor's World Cup in one go. "I'm really proud to be part of it," said the Englishman, who himself is racing towards his sixth driver title. Especially the second German in the starting field might hope for a withdrawal of the storm and another chance in qualifying: Niko Hulkenberg would start from his second training session in the Renault from 18th place. Gambling, handicrafts and the start-stop light dismantledThe riders had to look, however, a pastime. Some wanted to pass the time with video games or series shows, Max Verstappen daddelte on his PlayStation FIFA 20. Other as Vettel planned some indoor sports. Haas driver Romain Grosjean tinkered on a miniature racing car. Event organizers and team members worked hard on Friday to make the paddock stormproof and not least to protect the expensive and sensitive technology from wet. "We're a bit in the middle of nowhere, but probably discovery is the more appropriate term," said Formula 1 sports director Steve Nielsen to the unusual logistical challenges of the storm. In the pit lane, forklifts unloaded pallets of sandbags, the teams locked the garages and stored as much equipment as possible due to fear of flooding. Also the starting lights, GPS measuring devices or parts of the track lighting were brought to safety. However, as fast and stormproof as possible, the equipment and equipment should be made on the traditional course, so fast they should be rebuilt after the typhoon for Sunday. Meanwhile, the racing teams should be allowed to send selected employees to the otherwise closed circuit to monitor the state of their own equipment. The current weather situation in Suzuka looks like this webcam shows live from the racetrack.