Tomorrow’s season finale in the Japanese Super Formula at Suzuka has been cancelled due to the threat of a stormy typhoon hitting the local area. This means that, by default, Hiroaki Ishiura has taken his second title by just half a point over Pierre Gasly.
Severe rainfall was forecasted for the whole weekend with the red flag shown on numerous occasions during the Saturday practice session.
Initially, the race organisers also considered to cancel the qualifying session and use the results from practice to form the grid, but the session went ahead and saw André Lotterer (Vantelin Team Tom’s) on pole position for Race 1 – who needed to win that race to stay in contention – and Jann Mardenborough (Itochu Enex Team Implu) doing the same for Race 2.
However, with Typhoon Lan approaching the circuit – which has sustained wind speed of 150 mph and a gust of 184 mph recorded at the typhoon’s core – the race organisers decided to prioritise the safety of the teams and spectators and cancel the race, with no plans to reschedule the race.
With 16 points up for grabs, six drivers – Ishiura, Gasly, Rosenqvist, Sekiguchi, Nakajima, and Lotterer – went into this weekend’s double header with a mathematical chance of taking the title. Had the races taken place as planned, both Gasly and Rosenqvist had the opportunity to become the first rookie Super Formula champion in 21 years.
But with the races cancelled no rescheduling planned, Hiroaki Ishiura has been declared this year’s Drivers’ Champion. This is Ishiura’s second title following his 2015 triumph, and the third consecutive year the P.MU/CERUMO・INGING have won the Drivers’ Championship, with Yuji Kunimoto also winning last year’s crown.
Despite the reasoning, numerous fans have protested the decision not to reschedule the race, with former champion João Paulo de Oliveira echoing this with a statement via his Twitter:
“A championship should never be decided this way. Very sorry for the drivers which had a chance to win the title. They deserved a chance!”
These are unfortunate circumstances for Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen), who opted to miss this weekend’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to challenge for the title as he was only half a point behind Ishiura in the standings.
The P.MU/CERUMO・INGING also won the Constructors’ Title, four points ahead of Team Mugen and Vantelin Team Tom’s close behind in third.
2017 Super Formula Championship Drivers’ Standings:
|Pos.||Car No. Driver (Nationality), Team (Engine)||Points|
|1||2 Hiroaki Ishiura (JPN), P.MU/CERUMO・INGING (Toyota)||33.5|
|2||15 Pierre Gasly (FRA), Team Mugen (Honda)||33|
|3||7 Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), SUNOCO Team Le Mans (Toyota)||28.5|
|4||19 Yuhi Sekiguchi (JPN), Itochu Enex Team Implu (Toyota)||25|
|5||37 Kazuki Nakajima (JPN), Vantelin Team Tom’s (Toyota)||22|
|6||36 André Lotterer (GER), Vantelin Team Tom’s (Toyota)||21|
|7||18 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN), KCMG (Toyota)||16.5|
|8||1 Yuji Kunimoto (JPN), P.MU/CERUMO・INGING (Toyota)||16|
|9||16 Naoki Yamamoto (JPN), Team Mugen (Honda)||10.5|
|10||3 Nick Cassidy (NZL), Kondō Racing (Toyota)||8|
|11||4 Kenta Yamashita (JPN), Kondō Racing (Toyota)||6.5|
|12||8 Kazuya Oshima (JPN), SUNOCO Team Le Mans (Toyota)||6|
|13||41 Takuya Izawa (JPN), Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Honda)||5|
|14||20 Jann Mardenborough (GBR), Itochu Enex Team Implu (Toyota)||4.5|
|15||10 Koudai Tsukakoshi (JPN), Real Racing (Honda)||3|
|16||64 Daisuke Nakajima (JPN), TCS Nakajima Racing (Honda)||2|
|17||40 Tomoki Nojiri (JPN), Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Honda)||2|
|18||50 Takashi Kogure (JPN), B-Max Racing Team (Honda)||0|
|19||65 Narain Karthikeyan (IND), TCS Nakajima Racing (Honda)||0|
2017 Super Formula Championship Constructors’ Standings:
|2||Team Mugen (Honda)||43.5|
|3||Vantelin Team Tom’s (Toyota)||41|
|4||SUNOCO Team Le Mans (Toyota)||34.5|
|5||Itochu Enex Team Implu (Toyota)||27.5|
|7||Kondō Racing (Toyota)||12.5|
|8||Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Honda)||6|
|9||Real Racing (Honda)||3|
|10||TCS Nakajima Racing (Honda)||2|
|11||B-Max Racing Team (Honda)||0|
In the Constructors’ Standings, points received by drivers for pole position are not included in the final tally.