McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael still expects Korean GP race day to be hit by rain
Feared typhoon now set to miss, but poor race weather forecast
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 06/10/13 7:32am
F1 Weather - Korea GP
The Formula 1 field is still bracing itself for potentially disruptive wet and windy weather in the Korean GP despite Typhoon Fitow not now expected to strike the country on Sunday.
The F1 paddock arrived in Mokpo on Wednesday to the news that a tropical storm crossing the Philippine Sea was set to become a typhoon and head inland, with the possibility of it striking South Korea on Sunday and bringing with it winds of over 100mph and torrential rain.
Latest forecasts suggested the typhoon will now miss the Korean peninsula on Sunday and strike further west in mainland China. However, the remnants of the tropical storm are likely to still be felt by F1 at the race track according to McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael.
"It's due to pass close to here on Sunday but the predictions at the moment, and remember this is still three days away, are that it's going to miss the circuit because it's heading towards mainland China," Michael told Sky Sports News.
"But we'll still see heavy winds and heavy rain and that could be enough to affect the race, whether it's with a safety car [or something else].
"The chance of rain around the race is very high so I'm sure we'll see something here at the track as a result of it."
F1 has past experience of coping with poor weather in Korea, the inaugural event in 2010 having run behind the Safety Car for the opening 17 laps, and then later been red flagged for three quarters of an hour, owing to adverse weather.
Typhoon threatens Korean GP
Michael admitted the prospect of torrential rain arriving had the potential to cause a similar stoppage this year come Sunday.
"They [high winds] are disruptive and the rain that comes with it. When you then get torrential rain that sits on the outside of a typhoon or hurricane that's definitely enough to cause a grand prix to be stopped, or at least run under the safety car," he explained.
"So at the moment we can't really judge what level that's going to be. We'll get more and more information every 24 hours and down to the last day we'll get it on the hour and we'll see then."
You can see all the action from the Korean Grand Prix this weekend. Coverage of the first practice session starts at 1.45am on Friday morning. Practice three and qualifying is from 2.45am on Saturday and all the build-up and the race is from 5.30am on Sunday morning, and it's all live on Sky Sports F1.