F1 monitoring Typhoon Hagibis with Japanese Grand Prix under threat
Formula One officials and the FIA are closely monitoring Typhoon Hagibis as the tropical storm threatens to cancel the Japanese Grand Prix.
The typhoon, which is scheduled to make landfall on Saturday, has already forced the cancellation of two Rugby World Cup matches - England's clash with France and New Zealand's meeting with Italy.
With final practice and qualifying due to take place at Suzuka the same day, race organisers have confirmed they are monitoring the progress of the storm ahead of this weekend's event.
"The FIA, Formula One, Suzuka Circuit and the Japanese Automobile Federation are closely monitoring Typhoon Hagibis and its potential impact on the 2019 FIA Formula One Japanese Grand Prix," an F1 statement read.
"Every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the Formula One timetable, however the safety of the fans, competitors and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit remains the top priority.
"All parties will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates in due course."
Though F1 are yet to make a firm decision on the race schedule, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc - who sits third in the driver standings - has backed the officials to make the right call.
"It's pretty clear if the typhoon is going to come here, there is no way we can drive," Leclerc told a news conference.
"Of my previous experience, I have only done one year and a half in Formula One, but they have always been quite safe with the conditions.
"They always asked what we thought about the track once we were in the car. So I'm happy. We will see."
Should the race go ahead, Mercedes could wrap up the constructors' title if they outscore Ferrari by more than 14 points, with the team on the verge of a sixth successive double championship.
"It would leave us right at the top, if we do what we plan to do," defending world champion and current drivers' standings leader Lewis Hamilton told a news conference when asked what it would mean for Mercedes in terms of F1 history.
"All of the people who have contributed to enable us to do what we do. People do not see the work that goes on in the background. When they tune in at the weekend they see the outcome of hundreds of hours of work.
"It shows the strength in depth, the intention of Mercedes as an organisation to continue to be a dominating figure in motorsport. I'm really proud to be a part of it."