Japanese GP red flagged due to torrential rain


The Japanese Grand Prix has been red flagged after just one lap behind the safety car due to torrential rain at Suzuka today.

The race started under the safety car at Suzuka due to the heavy rainfall, onset by Typhoon Phanfone, but the FIA stewards soon deemed the conditions to be too bad to allow them to continue behind Bernd Maylander.

It was confirmed last week that Typhoon Phanfone was circulating in the Pacific, and would be making its way towards Japan across the course of the race weekend at Suzuka.

However, it has now hit at the worst possible moment, causing the race to be suspended despite the FIA trying to get an earlier start time. FIA race director Charlie Whiting made his concerns clear to the race promoters, Honda, but the Japanese manufacturer refused to move the time the flag dropped.

This post will be updated accordingly with news of a possible restart. For more updates, be sure to follow @F1onNBCSports on Twitter.


0205 ET – The race has been red flagged, with all of the drivers heading back to the pit lane in the order they were running. The only difference to the grid is that Marcus Ericsson is now last after spinning off behind the safety car.

0215 – The race will resume at 0225 thanks to a slight break in the rain. They will restart under the safety car on lap three.

0222 – Apparently this break in the weather will last for another 20 to 30 minutes, after which it will intensify once again. We’re going to get some running, but hopes of reaching the full distance of 53 laps are slim.

0225 – Race restarted under the safety car. Fernando Alonso is out due to an electrical problem on his Ferrari.

0232 – Valtteri Bottas is told that the predicted rain will come later than expected, and the drivers could reach lap 40 to warrant full points being awarded.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor BitNile.com: “It is great for BitNile.com to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”