Japanese Grand Prix braced for typhoon chaos

Race organisers are bracing themselves for a rain-disrupted Japanese Grand Prix this weekend as a powerful typhoon closes in.

Heavy rain lashed the Suzuka circuit on Thursday with more wet and windy weather forecast for the weekend as Typhoon Phanfone is predicted to slam into Japan on Monday.

Several drivers have been warned, with Force India’s Sergio Perez telling reporters: “The hurricane might come. If it comes, probably we won’t be able to race.”

Organisers could be forced to tweak the schedule to avoid major disruption should the typhoon strike the region.

Severe weather conditions are nothing new at the Japanese Grand Prix, and a cancellation remains highly unlikely.

The race has twice been thrown into chaos by extreme weather in the last decade, with torrential rain delaying qualifying until race-day morning in 2004 and 2010.

A wet race could also provide a twist in the title race with Lewis Hamilton leading Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by just three points with five races remaining.