'Lousy' Weather Wipes Out Styrian Grand Prix Practice, Threatens Qualifying


'Lousy' weather wipes out Styrian Grand Prix practice, threatens qualifying

Spielberg, Austria, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 11th Jul, 2020 ) :Formula One is relieved to be back in action, whatever the weather, the sport's technical boss Ross Brawn said Saturday as teeming rain cancelled all action at the Styrian Grand Prix.

As heavy rainstorms washed out third and final practice in the morning and threatened the running of qualifying, in the afternoon, Brawn said he was looking forward to a bright and dry race day on Sunday.

"Austria is always a challenging circuit to come to, weather-wise," he said. "And we've been here before with these sort of conditions.

"But mainly we are just so pleased to be here even if the weather is lousy!" This weekend's Styrian event is the second of the season on successive weekends at the same Red Bull Ring circuit following last Sunday's coronavirus delayed season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

The race season was scheduled to start in Melbourne on March 15, but that race and nine others were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There is a big front coming through and moving slowly, but predictably, so there's a chance maybe at the end of today (Saturday) that we'll get some running," said Brawn.

"But certainly tomorrow (Sunday) looks fine." He confirmed that if Saturday's qualifying session was postponed it would be switched to Sunday morning - and result in the cancellation of at least two support races.

"We've got a schedule tomorrow (Sunday), which means we lose only the Formula Two sprint race and one of the Porsche races. So, we think tomorrow we can fit everything in so there'll be qualifying in the morning.

"If we can't do that, then, as you know, the FP2 times become relevant....

"But, I hope, we don't need to do that and I think we'll have qualifying in the morning." Heavy rain left the Red Bull Ring awash with running water with the conditions declared too dangerous to allow practice to continue.

Race Director Michael Masi said Friday that one of the contingencies was to postpone qualifying until Sunday morning or to take the second practice times to decide grid positions.

Masi said: "Earlier, it looked like Sunday morning was not going to be great either, but that seems to have cleared up and is maybe possible." If the weather does not permit qualifying to take place Sunday morning, he said second practice classification positions would be used to create the grid.

That would give Red Bull's Max Verstappen pole position ahead of last Sunday's winner Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and Racing Point's Sergio Perez.

Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton would start sixth in the second Mercedes behind Lance Stroll in the second Racing Point and Carlos Sainz of McLaren.

A Sunday qualifying last happened in F1 before the Japanese Grand Prix last season.