Japanese Grand Prix 2014: Uncertainty remains over Typhoon Phanfone as FIA announce race start will not be changed

The FIA have missed the deadline to change the race as the threat of 150 mph winds remains in the forecast

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The Independent Online

The running of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix remains under threat as organisers are still unsure of the impact Typhoon Phanfone will have on Suzuka and the surrounding areas.

The typhoon has been building over the Pacific Ocean throughout the week and is expected to bring rain and heavy winds to the track - which could severely challenge the race.

With the lights due to go out at 15:00 local time, there is little room for pushing the start back, as dusk falls fairly soon after the end of the grand prix.

An FIA spokesman explained why the race could not be moved, with Sunday morning or later on Saturday night originally mooted as potential options.

 

"The timing for the organisers to change the time the race is held has passed," he said.

"We will see what is going on in the morning. If that is a storm, what are you going to do? The safety of the people, the spectators has to logically be the most important thing."

The situation is ever-changing, with the typhoon upgraded from a category one hurricane up to a category four inside 12 hours.

It has also been at 'super typhoon' levels after reaching winds of 150mph and the FIA is in constant contact with their forecasters.

"Our team are monitoring at all times," the spokesman added.

"Everyone is trying to make sure the race can go ahead - but it will go ahead only if conditions in and around the circuit are safe."

There remains the possibility that the race could run behind the safety car if the weather was bad enough to warrant it - with half-points also an option should the entire race not be able to be completed.

Either way it adds another intriguing factor into the title battle between Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton ahead of what will prove to be an interesting day.

PA

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