Carlos Sainz thoughts on Japanese Grand Prix

Mercedes

If authorities do not take that action, F1 will nearly certainly try to run Saturday's programme, which has final practice at 12:00 local time (02:00 BST) and qualifying at 15:00.

The Suzuka circuit, which is set to host Sunday's race, is about 300 kilometres south west of Tokyo.

Mercedes don't need to be more than 176 points ahead of Ferrari after this race as a result of the fact that they have clinched the tiebreaker over the Prancing Horse.

French driver Jules Bianchi crashed in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix after a typhoon brought wet conditions and reduced visibility to the Suzuka circuit.

Formula One is no stranger to dealing with inclement weather in Japan.

Lewis Hamilton claimed his first win post-summer break last time out in Russian Federation having been lost to Ferrari in Belgium, Italy and again in Singapore.

But the Maranello outfit's failure to turn Charles Leclerc's pole position into another win at Sochi gave Mercedes a surprise one-two.

Prior to that he finished off the podium in Singapore, behind both Ferraris and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who has won two grands prix this season and is another contender at his engine supplier Honda's home race.

The victor of the past seven Japanese Grand Prixs have subsequently gone on to win the driver's title that year - Sebastian Vettel [2012 and 2013], Lewis Hamilton [2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018] and Nico Rosberg [2016].

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"And what is clear is that the situation wasn't clear for both of the drivers, starting the race, and I think that's the most important". "It's getting harder and harder as the season goes on".

Rain or shine, Suzuka has the ingredients to be a classic - a rejuvenated Red Bull team pressing the top two, plus a circuit renowned for exciting racing with sweeping bends and dramatic elevation changes.

However, Verstappen is optimistic Red Bull can return to its pre-break form if it gets its vehicle working better, and Suzuka's high-speed parts do not punish the combination of Red Bull's draggier set-up and Honda's remaining power deficit.

"It's coming from (the officials) what is the plan and what is going to happen", Gasly said.

"Suzuka is incredible, it's one of the most exciting parts of the year and now so more than ever before because you've got three solid, incredibly fast teams pushing each other".

"It shows that we are making some progress, so there are no reasons for us to be very slow in Japan. But it doesn't mean that we will have an easy life", said Leclerc.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to Suzuka as it's a special place for me".

Mercedes can tie Ferrari's record of six consecutive constructor's championship victories this weekend, should they outscore their Italian rivals by 14 points.

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