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Spring Shift Risks Rain at Japanese Grand Prix

Spring Shift Risks Rain at Japanese Grand Prix

02/04/2024

The Japanese Grand Prix’s move to spring invites unpredictable weather, challenging both organizers and racers.

By moving the Japanese Grand Prix to the spring, a season known for its tumultuous weather, the organizers knew they were taking a risk…

Bad weather has frequently disrupted the Japanese round of the Formula 1 World Championship, starting with the inaugural race in 1976, which was marked by James Hunt’s championship and Niki Lauda’s withdrawal under torrential conditions at Fuji.

For this weekend, rain is forecast throughout, particularly on Sunday, the race day, when heavy rainfall is expected.

The Grand Prix was rescheduled to the beginning of the season to ease the organization of the calendar by geographical zones, aiming to reduce Formula 1’s carbon footprint.

The risk, of course, is that the schedule at Suzuka could be disrupted as it has been in the past, or even the holding of the race could be in question if conditions are too precarious at the planned start time.

If the start is delayed, the chances of visibility being reduced after two hours of racing might prompt the organizers to cancel, similar to the experience of spectators at the Belgian Grand Prix in 2021 at Spa.

But in such a case at Suzuka, the memory of Jules Bianchi will inevitably loom, recalling the tragic accident of 2013 when the young French hope’s Marussia collided with a crane dispatched to a corner to assist Adrian Sutil’s Sauber, with the dramatic consequences that followed.

Spring Shift Risks Rain at Japanese Grand Prix. Spring Shift Risks Rain at Japanese Grand Prix

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