Japanese GP:Saturday cancelled

UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact.' Typhoon 22 has been upgraded to Super Typhoon risk status and all Saturday action is cancelled at Suzuka. Race officials have confirmed that pre-qualifying will now begin at 9am on Sunday morning, with official qualifying beginning at 10am. The race will begin as scheduled at 2.30pm local time. 10/08/04 (GMM – Suzuka) FIA and Suzuka officials may cancel all track action scheduled for Saturday.

At time of writing, a decisive meeting is taking place as 'typhoon 22' is upgraded in intensity and now likely to pass directly through Suzuka.

Sources said the track will probably not be opened at all on Saturday so that preparations can be made to protect Suzuka's facilities.

The contingency for a cancelled Saturday is that F1 qualifying will either be staged prior to the grand prix, or not at all.

Giancarlo Fisichella, though – second quickest in practice – won't mind if Friday's practice times are used to determine the grid.

''The car is good out there,'' said the Italian, ''but the conditions were so, so bad.''

He said 'rivers' were running across the circuit, which contributed to Sauber team-mate Felipe Massa's spins both in the morning and afternoon sessions.

''I aquaplaned both times,'' said the Brazilian. ''The second time, I was driving slowly, coming back to the pits, but I hit a big puddle and went off.''

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