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Typhoon-hit Japan GP qualifying moved to Sunday

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The Japanese Grand Prix's entire Saturday track programme, including qualifying, has been cancelled as Typhoon Hagibis bears down on the Suzuka circuit, race organisers said Friday.

[SUZUKA, Japan] The Japanese Grand Prix's entire Saturday track programme, including qualifying, has been cancelled as Typhoon Hagibis bears down on the Suzuka circuit, race organisers said Friday.

Qualifying will be rescheduled to 10am (0100 GMT) Sunday, with the race taking place at 2.10pm (0510 GMT) as originally planned.

"As a result of the predicted impact of Typhoon Hagibis on the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix, Mobilityland and the Japanese Automobile Federation have decided to cancel all activities scheduled to take place on Saturday October 12," said a statement issued Friday by the motorsport's governing body FIA.

"The FIA and Formula One support this decision in the interest of safety for the spectators, competitors and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit," it continued.

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The decision means the teams and drivers will have just Friday's two practice sessions in which to prepare for Sunday morning's qualifying session.

Formula One qualifying in Japan was also moved to Sunday in 2004 and in 2010 because of poor weather.

The typhoon has already claimed casualties at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, with Saturday's England-France clash in Yokohama and the New Zealand-Italy match in Toyota City cancelled.

AFP