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Typhoon Hagibis prompts two Rugby World Cup matches to be cancelled - will Japanese GP follow?

Typhoon Hagibis prompts two Rugby World Cup matches to be cancelled - will Japanese GP follow?

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Typhoon Hagibis prompts two Rugby World Cup matches to be cancelled - will Japanese GP follow?

Typhoon Hagibis prompts two Rugby World Cup matches to be cancelled - will Japanese GP follow?

Rugby World Cup organisers have cancelled two matches scheduled for Saturday on safety grounds as Japan braces itself to be hit by Typhoon Hagibis.

Matches between New Zealand and Italy, and England and France, in Toyota and Yokohama have been called off to ensure the safety of players and spectators.

Suzuka is also in the expected flightpath of Typhoon Hagibis, which is expected to bring hurricane conditions to Japan on Saturday, when FP3 and qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix are scheduled.

"Every effort is being made to minimise disruption to the Formula 1 timetable," and F1 statement read. "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."

Qualifying may be rescheduled for Sunday morning, when clearer weather is expected, or the starting order could be decided by the practice sessions on Friday.

Drivers were asked about the conditions on Thursday, and were united in their insistence that safety should come first.

Nico Hulkenberg said: "We’ve seen in recent years that, in terms of rain, we don’t need too much for it to be unsafe. Especially when you throw wind in there as well. It gets, I think, pretty tricky.

"We can obviously debate a lot and discuss but I think we just have to wait and see what actually hits us and how bad it is, or not, and make the right call at the time.

"Obviously there’s a lot of fans here. We want to race; they want to see us drive. So, I think we need to try and make this weekend happen – but obviously we need to see what happens and we’re at the mercy of the weather there."

Max Verstappen said any action on Saturday "doesn't look very likely" although Carlos Sainz compared the situation to this year's sodden German GP, saying: "I have full trust in Michael [Masi, race director] and his team that we will run in safe conditions if we do so.

"Hockenheim is a good example. The first five laps of the race it was clearly a bit too wet and until the drivers there in the midfield, we didn’t say it was safe enough, it wasn’t clearly green flag."

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