F1 teams hunkered down as Typhoon Hagibis passes Suzuka; bosses meet with Chase Carey
Suzuka’s circuit was closed ahead of the storm.
Team bosses are spending Saturday discussing Formula 1’s future with CEO Chase Carey.
The drivers are bunkered down at Suzuka’s circuit hotel. Only two staff members per team are allowed at the actual track to monitor team equipment as a powerful Typhoon Hagibis moves across the region.
“We have packed food and water and are ready for an emergency,” Kevin Magnussen told BT newspaper. “I hope the hotel doesn’t blow away,” he smiled.
Before the paddock emptied late on Friday, sandbags were put in place, the teams dismantled their pitwall infrastructure and placed expensive equipment on higher ground, and the podium was disassembled.
But team bosses were invited by Carey to a suite at the circuit hotel to informally discuss the 2021 rules.
Wednesday of next week will be the last official meeting involving Formula 1 and the FIA before the delayed end-of-October deadline for agreement about the 2021 rules falls.
A big risk is that the teams will continue to disagree, raising the possibility that Ferrari will throw the entire process into further disarray by using its unique and controversial ‘veto’.
“There are still a lot of open points and discussions,” Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto said.
“How all these discussions concludes is very difficult to say at the moment.”
As for that veto power, Binotto is not ruling out having to wield it.
“We believe that as Ferrari, because of what Ferrari represents for F1, we’ve got an important voice in the discussions,” said the Italian.
“In terms of the veto, I think I said last time in Sochi that it would really be a shame. I think we’ve got a good and open discussion with the stakeholders at the moment and I’m somehow hopeful that we can find the right compromise at the end.”
Typhoon Hagibis made landfall early Saturday on Shizuoka Prefecture’s Izu Peninsula and hit Tokyo and its surrounding areas. Early Sunday morning, the storm was moving across the Peninsula and is expected to move back out into the Pacific Ocean early Sunday morning.
The Suzuka circuit is about 250 miles to the southeast of Tokyo.
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