Official F1 weather service Ubimet now anticipates that the worst of Typhoon Phanfone will hit the Suzuka area in the early hours of Monday morning – but says that the race will still be affected by heavy rain.
On Monday the last of the F1 equipment will be being packed for shipment to Sochi, and many team members are due to fly to Russia.
Ubimet expects “…the arrival of rainbands, these at times heavy, for Sunday and, with the centre of the typhoon will pass close by on Monday morning with widespread transport disruption, structural damage and possible injuries.
“The rain will largely be persistent – possibly with an occasional drier interlude – but also it will become heavy at times, this more likely after midday. Thus, at the scheduled time by 15:00 local time, a wet race seems to be a likely scenario.
“The expert on-site meteorologists Steffen Dietz and Andy Swan expect the passage of the typhoon centre between the early and the afternoon hours of Monday. ‘Probably Phanfone will pass to the southeast of Suzuka. There are also model solutions that can draw the eye directly on the race circuit. In both cases severe structural damage is expected on Monday, with possible widespread severe damage from the second case.’