By Abhishek Takle
SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) – Formula One woke up to a sunny Sunday in Suzuka ready for a busy day of qualifying and racing in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis.
All practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday were cancelled as the storm approached, with the track closed to the public and media.
Having battened down the hatches on Friday evening in preparation for the coming storm, with the entire broadcast centre, circuit TV screens, starting lights and even the podium taken down and stowed away, it was all systems go on Sunday morning.
The rescheduled qualifying session, which will decide the starting grid for the race was set to go ahead as planned at 10 a.m. local time (0100 GMT), with the race on schedule for its 2:10 p.m. (0510 GMT) start.
Typhoon Hagibis, which also forced the cancellation of two rugby World Cup matches, may have largely spared Suzuka, about 300 kilometres southwest of Tokyo.
But it exacted its toll in other parts of the country.
Four people were killed and 17 were missing after Hagibis, the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in decades, paralysed the capital Tokyo, flooded rivers and put millions under evacuation warning before it ploughed up the northeastern coast.
The storm, which the government said could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958, brought record-breaking rainfall in many areas.
(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; Editing by Daniel Wallis)