Fog wipes out first day of Japanese Grand Prix

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Foggy conditions forced the entire first day of practice to be cancelled at the Twin Ring Motegi track in Japan today.

Early morning mist created low visibility that prevented an essential medical helicopter from landing at the Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi and all morning sessions were cancelled after a lengthy delay.

Conditions failed to improve and a decision was taken in the early afternoon to cancel the entire opening day of practice.

The six sessions due to take place today could not have started even if the air ambulance had already been on site, as the visibility issues meant take off in an emergency situation was not an option.

With the nearest major hospital more than an hour away from the circuit by road, practice could not been started on safety grounds.

Today’s weather disruption is not the first time the Twin Ring Motegi clash has fallen foul of the elements.

In 2009 all three qualifying sessions were cancelled after torrential rain battered the track. And in 2011 the race was postponed from April to its current October slot on the 18-round world championship calendar when a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt