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2019 Japanese Grand Prix build up thread (Qualifying Now @ 1:00 AM GMT Sunday!)


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#1 Marklar

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 19:18

Round 17 of 21

2019年日本グランプリ

11+13 October 2019




Spoon, 130R, Degner - Few tracks have as many challenging and historical corners as the track located in the Kansai Region of Japan. And few have written as many stories over the decades. Despite the titles being all but decided chances are that another chapter will be added in the upcoming weekend...
 

Track?
image.png

Record Lap from 2017



2018 pole lap in changable conditions

2018 Race Highlights

Favourites?
Not only because of their upgrades in Suzuka it's expected that Mercedes will be much closer than in Sochi over one lap, perhaps even the favourites. Lots will depend on how Ferrari will deal with the bigger radius corners, the generally much bigger variety of the track and also the bigger tyre degradation in the race. If they survive the first two sectors with little loss it should be enough to seal pole in the flat out final sector. Leclerc should have advantages between the two Ferrari drivers, since Vettel tends to struggle more on high speed corner tracks. Red Bull is turning up with new fuel and the track should suit the traits of the RB15 more than the last races, but there were times in this season where the confidence was higher in Milton Keynes....

As usual it's tough to make predictions about the midfield fight, but considering that the working range of the tyres should move up in Suzuka Haas may drop back again at the end of the midfield. Renault is expecting a difficult weekend which may preliminary decide the fight for P4. Williams will have a new front wing, but this will likely not change anything on their status as the backmarker team.

Schedule?

As early as this thread is up many folks will have to wake up quite early this time to watch the race too. But as everyone knows races at that time of the day are the best ones! :p
CdsPAwsWIAAwRWI.jpg
               JST     CEST    BST     ET
FRIDAY - 11 OCTOBER
FP1           10:00   03:00   02:00   21:00 (-1)    
FP2           14:00   07:00   06:00   01:00

SATURDAY - 12 OCTOBER
cancelled

SUNDAY - 13 OCTOBER
Qualifying    10:00   03:00   02:00   21:00 (-1)
Race          14:10   07:10   06:10   01:10
Tyres?
Slightly harder than last year, where we had the slightly softer Super Soft. Lewis Hamilton won starting on today's C3 tyres and pitting on Lap 24 on the C2 equivalent. Gasly stayed on even softer tyres out until Lap 29. The longest Stint was performed by Sainz & Verstappen on the C3 tyres with 32 laps, and Raikkonen on the C2 tyre with 36 laps. Even if Suzuka is more critical on the tyres than other tracks this should be a easy 1 stopper.

EFzgzYGXUAYaYsR.jpg

Weather?

Naturally the weather forecast so early is very uncertain. However, a typhoon is supposed to build during the upcoming days, whether it will move towards the track during the weekend is at the time of this post very uncertain, though.

Update






Steffen Dietz



@sdietzf1

·
5 Std.





Update: #Hagibis will most likely pass #Suzuka about 150 km to the southeast on Saturday afternoon JST as a strong typhoon, equivalent hurricane category 3. Torrential rain and gusts above 100 kph are expected. There is no chance for any track activities!
Friday will be fine with partly cloudy skies and a rising risk of isolated and light showers during the day.
On Sunday #Hagibis has already passed. Bright skies and dry conditions are expected. However, winds will still be gusty with up to 70 kph in the morning and 50 kph in the afternoon. = Conditions during race will be fine.



Title?
No place has seen more (driver) title deciders than the Japanese Grand Prix, 2019 wont be another one, but Mercedes can still seal both titles this weekend, even if Lewis Hamilton's official coronation will probably happen during the America tour again.

To already win the WCC in Suzuka Mercedes needs to outscore Ferrari by 14 points. In the last 10 races Mercedes has only achieved three times against Ferrari a result sufficient for this (Le Castellet, Silverstone, Sochi). A 1-2 would seal the title in any case. Ferrari can prevent it with a win in any case. More (somewhat realistic) scenarios right below

acpBHCU.png

Mercedes can also virtually win the WDC already, meaning that everyone except of the Merc drivers could be mathematically out of the Championship Fight after this race. For that Lewis Hamilton is not allowed to lose more than 3 points to Leclerc (happened 4 times this year, thrice after the Summer Break), 6 points to Verstappen (happened twice) and 24 points to Vettel (never happened).

History?
Quite fitting to the recent issues at Ferrari Suzuka was the stage for the probably most legendary team mate fallout and the sequel the year after.



For one of the most legendary Quali Battles



And one of the greatest victories



But also some tragic moments



And unfortunately Suzuka also had its very dark chapters...






Graeme



@graeme_lowdon

·
18 Std.





Five years have passed since that horrendous day in Suzuka 2014. My thoughts are with Jules, his family, his friends, fellow drivers, our team mates and his many many fans. He will always be remembered, never forgotten #JB17



 


Coming back to the present: Will Honda win their long-awaited home race? Who will prevail at Ferrari this time? Will Mercedes score a record-equaling sixth consecutive constructor title? And will it rain?


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#2 Pimpwerx

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 20:20

Thanks for the thread, Marklar. I'm getting a bit worried about the forecast. I'll be flying to Cambodia on Tuesday, and it sounds like I'm going to have a very wet week.

#3 TomNokoe

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 00:58

Awesome! Thanks, Marklar.

A circuit steeped in legend and history that has failed to live up to expectation in recent years, with a huge dose of tragedy in between. Only 2011 (maybe 2013) can be looked back at as good races. I watched 2011 on F1TV earlier this evening. Great race. But you cannot blame the circuit for producing dull races. An absolute staple of the calendar. It should never leave. It took me a while to understand the pull of Suzuka, but once I did ... ultimate F1.

As for this weekend ... Over a qualifying lap, the track layout probably favours Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull equally, although some setup compromises may have to be afforded. In race trim, I'd put Red Bull above Ferrari and very, very close to Mercedes. If Ferrari stick it on pole, it should give us a fantastic race, 2011-esque!

Mark Hughes says Mercedes update is quite small so I don't think we'll see them making any tremendous leaps, but the track layout favours them anyway. Hamilton has been the king of Suzuka S1 for a couple of years now. I suspect they'll bias their setup heavily around looking after the tyres in the race, just as they did in Silverstone.

We've heard again and again that this is the "real" test for Ferrari. They'll fly in qualifying, especially with the harder tyres. The maligned pre-updated Ferrari nearly stole pole at Silverstone, so there's every chance here. The engine will be singing through S2 + S3. The internal politics, competitiveness and fallout from Sochi will be on display again. This is undeniably one of Vettel's favourite circuits, but I think he'll have to bide his time and take his chances in the race. However, I do wonder if he will find an extra level of speed and focus in qualifying, simply because this track means a lot to him. The most important question is can they stay on top of the tyres in the race. It will be tough. Track position from quali will be crucial, again.

I am sure Red Bull will be properly in the fight. Recent circuits have left them stranded in no-mans land, but they'll be properly up for this. Max leading the way with his souped-up Spec 4. Albon's first time at Suzuka so expectations tempered again ... but the Honda support is going to be awesome. Really hope they have a strong weekend. They have caused Mercedes problems here in the last 3 years, so expect the same.

In terms of the midfield, I think McLaren and going to be clearly fourth fastest this weekend. No more low-drag layouts to inflate Renault's competitiveness. If anything, I think it'll be Toro Rosso pushing them hardest. Their chassis has had a high-downforce bias all year and they will be just as motivated as Red Bull, especially considering their genuine fight for P5 in the constructors. Gasly is strong here. Hopefully Kvyat can back him up after some unlucky weekends.

I think the gap between the top 3 and the midfield will be smaller. We've already seen in France and Silverstone that high-speed, fast corner tracks tend to bring the overall field closer. For the same reason I think Williams will be slightly more competitive. I think their "aero test" will likely turn out to be quite effective.

I'm not as convinced about an easy one-stop. We've seen lots of easy one-stop 2018 races be not-so-easy this year (Hungary, Silverstone) thanks to the different tyre construction and faster race pace. I think it will be between a one and two, and I can definitely see Red Bull and Ferrari going aggressive against Mercedes.

Not massively thrilled with the prospect of a typhoon. A dry weekend would be much more enjoyable. Expecting the pole time to be smashed after the damp Q3 last year.

Let's not forget Yamamoto in for FP1!

Really, really looking forward to this weekend. :clap:

Edited by TomNokoe, 06 October 2019 - 09:41.


#4 TauriJ

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 03:42

download__6_.png

download__7_.png

 

Not looking good right now.



#5 HeadFirst

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 03:49

Thanks M, wonderful job. I'm worried about the weather, but I love the track and the Japanese fans. If it rains (I hate rain races) I'll be hoping for a first time winner, but I'll settle for some new faces on the podium.



#6 peroa

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 05:48

You guys want to know about excellent holiday planning skills from an idiot who didn't check the date of the GP (while booking the tickets in March) so he could attend it while already being in the vicinity?

I'm flying to Tokyo on Sunday and will be there on Monday, one day after the race ...

 

tenor.gif



#7 SophieB

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 06:10

Thanks for the great Op, Marklar!
 
The Japanese GP will always make me think of that terrible day in 2014 and us all watching on IRC, and the growing unease because it was all taking way too long to retrieve Sutil's car under yellows and then it occuring to DC live on air too. To the extent you could hear him in the background very obviously using his mobile phone to call paddock contacts to desperately try and find out what was happening. A sobering reminder of the price sometimes paid for these young people when they do what they love to do, for us, who love to see them do it.
 
In a happier example, the Japanese GP is also beautiful things like this:

 

e. It is also on at the best possible time, i.e. super early for me so I can watch the race and still have the rest of the day free!



#8 Ev0d3vil

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:04

Oh yay! finally a race again in the afternoon in my time zone ! (Singapore).



#9 GoldenColt

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:21

Great OP!

 

One of my favourite races of the year and I don't mind getting up early for it at all.



#10 Marklar

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:57

This looks very bad

Rodolfo Alves
@Rodolfoar07
#F1 #JAPANESEGP Tropical Depression 20W was upgraded to Tropical Storm Hagibis this Sunday morning (Japan time). Forecast from JTWC indicates that Hagibis could be a Category 4 Typhoon (Winds 241km/h) in Wed/Thu, before heading to Japan next weekend.

Ian Fergusson
@fergieweather
The latest deterministic global model runs are increasingly troubling into Sat-Sun...

Rodolfo Alves
@Rodolfoar07
GFS places Typhoon passing near Suzuka on Sunday. ECMWF approached further west. In both there would be heavy rain on Sunday. Scenario getting potentially complicated.

#11 Clatter

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:06

You guys want to know about excellent holiday planning skills from an idiot who didn't check the date of the GP (while booking the tickets in March) so he could attend it while already being in the vicinity?
I'm flying to Tokyo on Sunday and will be there on Monday, one day after the race ...

tenor.gif

Ouch. I feel for you.

I came close to that one year for the British GP. Booked tickets for the race and a holiday just before. Only realised a week before we went that the race date had changed and I'd been working on the provisional calender. Luckily I only missed the Friday, but it was a night flight home and arrived home just as my mate pulled up at the house to drive us to Silverstone. Was cream crackered and fell asleep during Q.

#12 Widefoot2

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:50

You guys want to know about excellent holiday planning skills from an idiot who didn't check the date of the GP (while booking the tickets in March) so he could attend it while already being in the vicinity?

I'm flying to Tokyo on Sunday and will be there on Monday, one day after the race ...

 

tenor.gif

No worries, the typhoon will delay the race by a day...  :rotfl:



#13 TomNokoe

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:56

This looks very bad


Yeah, nothing fun about typhoons. It will ruin the weekend. Hopefully things improve.

#14 TauriJ

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:59

This looks very bad
Rodolfo Alves
@Rodolfoar07
#F1 #JAPANESEGP Tropical Depression 20W was upgraded to Tropical Storm Hagibis this Sunday morning (Japan time). Forecast from JTWC indicates that Hagibis could be a Category 4 Typhoon (Winds 241km/h) in Wed/Thu, before heading to Japan next weekend.
Ian Fergusson
@fergieweather
The latest deterministic global model runs are increasingly troubling into Sat-Sun...
Rodolfo Alves
@Rodolfoar07
GFS places Typhoon passing near Suzuka on Sunday. ECMWF approached further west. In both there would be heavy rain on Sunday. Scenario getting potentially complicated.

Yep, its gotten worse
Screenshot_2019-10-06-11-54-11-589_com.a

#15 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:00

My Suzuka moment:

 



#16 TomNokoe

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:21

I always wondered why they called them typhoons, so I decided to Google it:

The only difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon is the location where the storm occurs. Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon.


For some reason in my puny little brain, the word "typhoon" was less threatening than "hurricane".

But now I understand there's a YUGE hurricane on the way? Bloody hell. Not good.

#17 milestone 11

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:27

Great OP Marklar, you're on the ball. Weather doesn't look particularly promising.

#18 noikeee

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:31

No worries, the typhoon will delay the race by a day... :rotfl:


Judging by that latest weather report posted above, that's starting to look like a real possibility!

Might end up delaying his flight too, however!

#19 statman

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:49

as predicted, Yamamoto will make his F1 debut:

 

The challenge of a lifetime awaits! #SuperGT #SFormula Double Champion Naoki Yamamoto will drive in the first free practice for Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda in the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix! #F1 #JapaneseGP

 

EGHruTZW4AAtl_W.jpg


Edited by statman, 06 October 2019 - 09:50.


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#20 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 10:01

Taking with what happened to Bianchi five years ago into account, I think they will be extra careful here with the weather conditions and safety. We could be looking at a race nearly completely behind the safety car or very long red flag situation.

#21 Jazza

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 10:28


as predicted, Yamamoto will make his F1 debut:

Super GT World@supergtworld Oct 4


More


The challenge of a lifetime awaits! #SuperGT #SFormula Double Champion Naoki Yamamoto will drive in the first free practice for Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda in the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix! #F1 #JapaneseGP

EGHruTZW4AAtl_W.jpg


Good thing Honda make boat engines...

Shame the kid probably won’t get a proper test of the car.

#22 krapmeister

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 10:35

You guys want to know about excellent holiday planning skills from an idiot who didn't check the date of the GP (while booking the tickets in March) so he could attend it while already being in the vicinity?
I'm flying to Tokyo on Sunday and will be there on Monday, one day after the race ...

tenor.gif

On the other hand, considering the weather forecast it may have been a fortuitous stroke of luck that you hadn't planned ahead so well...

As for me, it may mean that I don't have to have one eye on the gp when it overlaps with the last hour or so of Bathurst :p

Edited by krapmeister, 06 October 2019 - 10:38.


#23 sportyskells

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 10:42

or could F1 move the race time like a certain indycar normally do when there bad weather on the way (If its true) do not want a very long red flag due to a certain BTCC race weekend final weekend so Japan sun dance NOW PLEASE



#24 Marklar

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 10:51

or could F1 move the race time like a certain indycar normally do when there bad weather on the way (If its true) do not want a very long red flag due to a certain BTCC race weekend final weekend so Japan sun dance NOW PLEASE

Steffen Dietz, who was the meteorologist responsible for the FIA during 2014 mentioned yesterday on twitter that they recommended back then to start the race a couple of hours earlier in order to have more time without running into the darkness, but it was "not feasible", I assume the contract for the TV stations are preventing this, meaning that the race will happen at the scheduled time, even if it means only half points after a lengthy red flag and running a couple of laps behind the SC.... 


Edited by Marklar, 06 October 2019 - 10:52.


#25 as65p

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 10:52

In a happier example, the Japanese GP is also beautiful things like this:

 

:up:  :kiss: 

 

I'm always torn between that and Monaco '90 as my favourite Senna onboard qualifying lap. Eventually this get's the nod, because of the beautiful flow of the track. And one can just sense it's all exploited to the max in that moment. That lightning fast snap oversteer correction in the 2nd part of turn 1, with the car seemingly not losing any speed....and that sound of a proper F1 engine... :love:.



#26 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 11:01

The one thing I'd say, even if it gets to Thursday or Friday re the typhoon, is we all remember 2004 where Typhoon Ma-On was expected to give a direct hit to the track and at the last minute it changed course, so in that sense even if it looks for 2 or 3 days like it will give the track either a direct hit or very strong winds and very heavy rain, they may be wary of changing times of sessions or cancelling track action.

#27 OvDrone

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 11:17

My Suzuka moment:

 

 

That was a great day.



#28 thegamer23

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 12:18

Best circuit of the calendar, hands down.

Hopefully the weather will hold up

#29 Marklar

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 12:18

Wouldn't it be hilarious if after all this sunday is bone dry?

hgBfg73.png



#30 Clatter

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 13:21

Wouldn't it be hilarious if after all this sunday is bone dry?

hgBfg73.png

But like the last race when there was lots of hand wringing and complaints that the drains wouldn't cope with the impending rain, and how disgraceful the FIA were for sanctioning the track at all. And the rain never appeared.

#31 hamilton10000

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 14:32

Steffen Dietz, who was the meteorologist responsible for the FIA during 2014 mentioned yesterday on twitter that they recommended back then to start the race a couple of hours earlier in order to have more time without running into the darkness, but it was "not feasible", I assume the contract for the TV stations are preventing this, meaning that the race will happen at the scheduled time, even if it means only half points after a lengthy red flag and running a couple of laps behind the SC....


Also worth nothing that the races starts at 14:10 and sunset is 17:20, so only just over 3 hours of sunlight to actually run the race.
Though I thought they mandated the race times had to start at least 4 hours before sunset?

#32 Ivanhoe

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 14:35

Has a race ever been postponed till Monday?

#33 Spillage

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:18

That was a great day.


You have to give it to Murray Walker - he captured the moment Hill crossed the line like nobody else could.

#34 taz

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:19

Can't they just move the race to a later date? i'm not talking about this year, but why does it always have to be in the japanese typhoon season?

november (or even march/april) seems to be a much safer time (probably less affected by heavy rain, i think. I'm not an expert in the japanese climate )


Edited by taz, 06 October 2019 - 15:21.


#35 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:19

Has a race ever been postponed till Monday?

 

One was postponed to from May to September.



#36 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:21

Can't they just move the race to a later date? i'm not talking about this year, but why does it always have to be in the japanese typhoon season?

november (or even march/april) seems to be a much safer time

 

It does seem to be a bit of a problem. It could swap with Australia. Imagine Suzuka to open a new season.



#37 Ivanhoe

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:25

One was postponed to from May to September.


Thanks, only one precedent? Was that because of the weather?

#38 Victor_RO

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:30

Thanks, only one precedent? Was that because of the weather?

 

Spa '85, it was partially due to the weather (unseasonably warm conditions caused a newly-laid layer of asphalt to disintegrate, rendering the track unsafe).



#39 Myrvold

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:35

Thanks, only one precedent? Was that because of the weather?


Earthquake, moved the 95 Pacific GP from April to October.

EDIT: Oh. I just thought about races in Japan.

Edited by Myrvold, 06 October 2019 - 15:36.


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#40 TomNokoe

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:36

I know nothing about meteorology, but it seems that those who do have an unnerving degree of certainty that this doesn't look good. People talk about TV contracts and scheduling etc. but there's enough lead time here to get it sorted and issue compensation to stricken fans whose plans are disrupted.

I would start thinking about moving the race to Saturday.

#41 Kalmake

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:38

It does seem to be a bit of a problem. It could swap with Australia. Imagine Suzuka to open a new season.

Under 10 C average in March.  :(



#42 SCUDmissile

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 15:59

I'd like a rainy race, but not a typhooned one. Hope it all works out.



#43 taz

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 16:21

Under 10 C average in March.  :(

That's about the same temperature as expected in Zandvoort in early May



#44 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 16:21

Earthquake, moved the 95 Pacific GP from April to October.

EDIT: Oh. I just thought about races in Japan.

 

Surely that was long before the season started, so I wouldn't count it. Not like one where the teams were at the track and the race was postponed.



#45 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 16:22

Under 10 C average in March.  :(

 

F1 cars work in those temperatures. Still, maybe swap with Baku.



#46 ArrowsLivery

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 17:31

If it rains, I hope they can reschedule to Monday, instead of giving us a disgraceful “race” behind the SC.

#47 FLB

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 17:52

Spa '85, it was partially due to the weather (unseasonably warm conditions caused a newly-laid layer of asphalt to disintegrate, rendering the track unsafe).

And the Nurburgring F3000 round the same year had already been cancelled for... snow.

#48 Myrvold

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 17:57

Surely that was long before the season started, so I wouldn't count it. Not like one where the teams were at the track and the race was postponed.


Yuo. I was just thinking "Japan - race postponed" :)

Edited by Myrvold, 06 October 2019 - 17:57.


#49 Heyli

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 18:28

I´m all for a rainy GP, but that forecast looks terrible..



#50 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 18:30

Yuo. I was just thinking "Japan - race postponed" :)

 

It's a fair one. I'm just being picky.