Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Suzuka, 2015

Rising chance of rain during Japanese Grand Prix

2016 Japanese Grand Prix weather

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Wet conditions are possible for both the qualifying session and race at Suzuka this weekend.

Formula One’s official weather forecaster Ubimet warned on Tuesday of a “significant risk for rainy, slick conditions” during the race. Japan’s meteorological agency puts the chance of rain on race day at 60%. However the prospect of rain on Saturday is higher still at 80%.

Tomorrows practice sessions are currently expected to be held in dry conditions. Temperatures will reach around 24C and remain at a similar level for much of the rest of the weekend.

The rain is forecast to arrive on Friday evening and the risk of showers will remain throughout much of Saturdays running. Further showers on Sunday morning may keep the track wet, and thunderstorms are even possible around the race start time of 2pm.

The last two Japanese Grands Prix weekends have seen rain-affected sessions. The 2014 race ran in the aftermath of Typhoon Phanfone and practice was hit by rain last year. The circuit’s drainage system was extensively upgraded ahead of last year’s race in the wake of the 2014 crash which claimed the life of Jules Bianchi.

For more updates on the track conditions during each session keep an eye on F1 Fanatic Live and the F1 Fanatic Twitter account.

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2016 Japanese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Rising chance of rain during Japanese Grand Prix”

  1. Rosberg must be preparing animal sacrifices to keep the rain away! :-)

    That said, a rainy Suzuka will be a very poignant reminder of 2014 :-(

    1. Hamilton should indeed be the favourite in these conditions (Red Bull though ;-) ). It has to be said that Rosberg was competitive in the 2014 race at Suzuka, unlike most of the rain-affected races since then…

      1. Quite true, regarding Red Bull – if its a wet Suzuka, they’ll easily extend their advantage over Ferrari. And if they start taking away the higher scoring points from Mercedes, it’ll just prolong Lewis’s quest to bridge the points gap.

        Question – is the 2016 Williams any better in the rain than the previous years’ cars?

        1. Come rain or shine, I don’t think there’s any question about RBR being better than Ferrari! The Prancing Horse will have to settle for third.

        2. Phylyp, I’d say that the car is probably just as weak in wet conditions as the ones from previous years – the current car shares a number of the same chassis design flaws that the 2014 and 2015 cars did (such as poor rear end stability and excessive rear tyre wear), being derived from those cars, and the team admitted after the mid season tests that they still have not solved the aero balance issues with the current car.

          The circuit layout was already going to potentially favour Force India this weekend anyway – the general consensus is that the VJM09 tends to be superior to the FW38 in long radius high speed corners, which are more prevalent in Suzuka. Wet conditions would probably shift things further towards Force India, and might also bring Toro Rosso into play (given their chassis is also thought to be superior to the FW38), so I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams failed to score if there was rain during the race.

          1. Thank you, anon.

          2. Thank you, anon. Sorry, hit the button too soon. And yes, you guessed right were I was leading with that question, which is where they stand relative to Force India at this track. Thank you for covering that off too!

    2. Arnoud van Houwelingen
      6th October 2016, 12:09

      Verstappen did very well in the rain at Silverstone . with the intermediates he was the fastest on the track

    3. hahahaha Animal sacrifices lol

  2. Hm, so it looks like we might get another wet qualifying. I will be curious to see how Rosberg does in the wet against a fired up Hamilton then!

    1. I’m pretty certain Hamilton will win, but I’ll be surprised if Rosberg suffers as much as he did in Monaco.

      1. Agree on both accounts, @wildfire15, combined with Red Bull possibly being even closer in the wet, it might make for another really good qualifying session!

  3. I hope it rains, Rosberg is a kind of disabled in theses conditions, it could be a Japanese Monaco for the championship “leader”.

    1. Why the parentheses @abdelilah ?

      Is Rosberg not the championship leader?

      1. @baron Check the profile picture, question answered..

      2. And these: “” are not parentheses. These are: ()

  4. Usually the prospect of a wet race excites me, but not this time, too much sad memories…

  5. Most likely Ham, RBR1, RBR2, Ros which will be grat for Ham and his supporters

  6. Most likely Ham, RBR1, RBR2, Ros which will be great for Ham and his supporters

  7. Rosberg had 1 poor race in the rain & suddenly people believe he’s useless in the wet & a wet race means Lewis will walk it?

    2 years ago Suzuka was wet & Rosberg led most of that race with Lewis making a mistake & running wide at turn 1 at one point. It wasn’t until the track dried enough for intermediate’s & DRS was enabled that Lewis was able to DRS his way past.

    Nico’s issue at Monaco this year was a setup issue which saw him struggle to get the tyres into the working window, Had very little to do with his ability in the wet.

    1. “It wasn’t until the track dried enough for intermediate’s & DRS was enabled that Lewis was able to DRS his way past.”

      And open up a significant gap on Rosberg, demonstrating how much more pace he had.

      You’re right if you’re implying that Rosberg isn’t ALWAYS terrible in the wet, but compared to Hamilton he USUALLY comes off second best, and often ends up with a Red Bull or Ferrari for company too.

    2. “It wasn’t until the track dried enough for intermediate’s & DRS was enabled …”

      … that the safety car finally came in?

  8. Ric winning the dual with his team mate on older tyres will good have in a good frame of mind in Japan…l expect a another Ric win, rain or shine

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