In a unprecedented move, the stewards at Suzuka have announced that due to the uncertainty over the weather on Sunday, the times posted in today's second session could decide Sunday's grid.
"In view of the inclement weather forecast for the weekend, and noting that the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations are silent on the subject, the Stewards have examined methods for establishing a grid for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, should weather conditions preclude holding the Qualifying Practice session," read a brief statement issued shortly after FP1.
"Should this eventuality come to pass, the Stewards will exercise their authority under Article 11.9.3.b of the International Sporting Code and direct that the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix will be established based on the Second Practice Session Classification, with any penalties applied as necessary."
With all activity on Saturday cancelled due to the imminent arrival of Typhoon Hagibis, qualifying is scheduled to take place on Sunday morning at 10:00 local time.
However, should there be any delay to the session, such as incident or the weather, it would impact the race which is due to start just over three hours later. With sunset at 17:10 local time, just three hours after the race is due to start, this leaves little room for manoeuvre, hence the unprecedented announcement by the stewards.
No doubt, Chase Carey and the team are pondering whether this might be the perfect opportunity to try one of their many ideas for changing the format.
Check out our Friday gallery from Suzuka, here.