“I can’t remember the last time I saw weather like that,” said Fernando Alonso after pounding rain forced second practice to be abandoned at the Circuit of the Americas.
He might not have to wait long to see it again, however. Hard though it may be to believe, the weather forecast for Saturday at the Circuit of the Americas is even worse.
An even larger band of rain is expected to follow the one which passed over Austin today. Saturday’s expected downpour will be driven by the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, a category five storm which is officially the strongest ever seen in the western hemisphere with wind speeds of 200mph recorded as it headed towards Mexico on Friday evening.
The consequences for the Austin area will be an extremely wet Saturday. As well as there being little let-up in the rain, the risk of thunderstorms may also jeopardise the possibility for any track running to be conducted at all.
This could lead to qualifying being postponed until Sunday morning when conditions are expected to improve. This happened most recently with the Australian Grand Prix in 2013.
However the risk of further rain on Sunday remains high. Note there is also a dispensation under the rules which allows drivers’ time from final practice to count towards their qualifying positions if needed, though that does not apply to first or second practice times.
The speed with which conditions took a turn for the worse surprised some teams. “This morning we only did three timed laps because we wanted to save intermediate tyres for the second session,” said Kimi Raikkonen. Under the rules teams are given an extra set of intermediate tyres if first practice is declared wet – without which it’s likely there would have been very little running at all in Friday’s first session.
The lack of running was a particular problem for the likes of Carlos Sainz Jnr and Will Stevens, who had not previously driven at the track. “We were only able to do three complete laps today because of the weather,” said Sainz, but ending up P4 in FP1 is a good achievement.”
As things stand, he and everyone else may be fortunate to do as much running as that tomorrow.
Complete practice times
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault||1’55.224||6|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1’55.592||10|
|4||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’55.667||8|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’55.969||7|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1’57.139||4|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1’57.518||4|
2015 United States Grand Prix
- Sponsor Watch: Mexico, USA and Russia
- Verstappen and Rosberg take second Driver of the Weekend wins
- Very high rating for US GP as Mexico’s return falls flat
- Alonso encouraged by comparison with Hamilton
- Hamilton sees no need to help Rosberg to second in championship
19 comments on “Worsening weather could delay qualifying”
24th October 2015, 0:38
It was actually Lewis’ 1st year at Mercedes when qualifying in Melbourne was postponed, not last year.
24th October 2015, 0:57
Track conditions before and during P2 time were horrible, it would’ve been downright dangerous to have anyone out in those conditions. Driving home the visibility was less than 50 feet at times and maybe only 200 at others.
24th October 2015, 1:50
I am watching the live coverage of the hurricane. I am very concerned the race may not happen. I hope I am dead wrong, but it doesn’t look promising. A lot of rain yet to come.
24th October 2015, 3:22
I’d like nothing better than a washout/cancellation if for no other reason than to keep Ecclestone away from the limelight he so craves. He has flat out ruined F1!!
And although criticizing/insulting the US is his business, why not follow through by not attending the race you can’t get excited about.
So please Ecclestone, do us a favor, get on your high horse and ride your sorry @$$ off of US soil.
It shouldn’t bother him too much though, as he wasn’t too exited about coming to the US.
Let him take his sorry @$$
24th October 2015, 4:23
Come on, first race I’m attending in 15 years and I already missed FP2.
I’m surprised some teams saving tyres for fp2 when several local forecasts were saying 100% of rain during second practice. It was really heavy rain and wind, not a single chance to go on track. Will see tomorrow, but it doesn’t look promising for FP3 and qualifying.
24th October 2015, 5:33
What was it like out there when the weather worsened? As for saving tyres, yeah, Ferrari. I think everyone else expected more rain for the FP2 session.
Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty)
24th October 2015, 7:04
@bascb Mercedes as well for Hamilton. I’m surprised they weren’t running all of FP1 as it was obvious a downpour was coming for FP2 and Saturday is a washout – so any track time is valuable.
24th October 2015, 7:36
yes, you are right. The team already starting to make the same kind of mistakes we have seen from the likes of Ferrari, Williams, McLaren when they were slightly over their peak!
24th October 2015, 14:04
The Brackley team has never been that hot on strategy, last two years and 2009 they just had such a car advantage it’s not so obvious. Red Bull are by far the best strategy wise.
24th October 2015, 7:26
If qualifying gets postponed to Sunday then Ten’s RPM show will feature the practice in a highlights segment. Which is kinda pointless. Are there possibilities of moving the race like MotoGP have done in the past by airing it on a Monday.
24th October 2015, 8:59
Hurricane Patricia, a category five storm which is officially the strongest ever seen in the western hemisphere with wind speeds of 200mph recorded as it headed towards Mexico on Friday evening.
Even our beloved F1 is affected by climate change.
Dynamite Clock (@dinaveer)
24th October 2015, 10:13
The first wet weather race in Austin… hmm, I wouldn’t mind that at all.
24th October 2015, 10:46
Here’s a local estimate for today:
24th October 2015, 13:22
@keithcollantine how is the grid decided if there is no fp3 or qualy at all?
Marc Thielke (@motor)
24th October 2015, 13:50
I would love to have quail delayed, then I can watch it live and the race for just 6.99pounds on Now :) Lets get qual and the race inside a 24hour period, woohoo.
Charles King (@charleski)
24th October 2015, 14:09
Current forecasts point to FP3 also being washed out. It looks like you migth get your wish, though there will probably be some rain on Sunday morning as well.
24th October 2015, 14:22
as it stands right now, there will be no qualifying today.
24th October 2015, 14:26
I would say there will be little to no chance of running today in Texas with this announcement from the local NBC affiliate.
24th October 2015, 15:42
Well the prospect of a race looks little grim. Weather forecast says rain all the way up to tomorrow afternoon. I was planning to attend the race this weekend but due to some conflicting schedule there was change of plans.
As a F1 fan I feel bad that the race is a mess when the circus is in town !!!!! But as someone who was planning to attend the race, I am relieved that I did not make the plans. It is not just the race that I am concerned about but the cancelled flights, safety hazards and travel delays due to this weekend long thunderstorm . I can only hope the race next weekend in Mexico goes well.
I am assuming that if the race is cancelled this weekend Lewis will wrap up the championship !!!!
Comments are closed.