Wild weather causes Formula 1 mayhem

The third practice run of the Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix has been cancelled after torrential rain bombarded the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

The race stewards announced on Saturday morning local time: “After consultation and recommendation of the FIA Formula One Safety Delegate, the Stewards decide that the Formula One Free Practice 3 will be cancelled due to the inclement weather.”

Saturday’s session was supposed to be the racers’ last opportunity to test their cars before qualifying, which is also under threat of being abandoned by the wild weather.

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To make matters worse, the weekend’s Formula 3 race was also cancelled with only ten laps remaining.

FP3 has been cancelled. More updates to follow.#AustrianGP ?? #F1 pic.twitter.com/0FGWag2ADF

No running for us, and this is why

The tricky conditions caught out several drivers in @FIAFormula3 Race 1, and half-points were awarded after a red flag#AustrianGP ?? #RoadToF1 pic.twitter.com/4mWVwhWpX0

Although organisers are hopeful for qualifying to take place on Saturday after local time, Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz confirmed alternative schedules had been organised, with a particularly dire last resort.

“If that doesn’t happen, then like we’ve seen in previous races — Austin in 2015 and Japan in 2019 — then they will try to schedule qualifying for Sunday morning,” Kravitz said.

“If that’s not possible due to weather conditions, they would take the times from the latest practice session. That would normally be P3, but as it’s too wet, that would refer to P2. That’s why the times from P2 might, and I must stress, might, be significant.”

If the P2 times are used for the Grand Prix, Australian superstar Daniel Ricciardo will start at the back of the grid after he crashed into the barriers on Friday, unable to register an official time.

Meanwhile, Dutch driver Max Verstappen would claim pole position, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel would start in 16th spot.

FRIDAY’S P2 RESULTS

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) — 1:03.660

2. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) — 1:03.703

3. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) — 1:03.877

4. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) — 1:04.241

5. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) — 1:04.333

6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) — 1:04.348

7. Alexander Albon (Red Bull) — 1:04.437

8. Lando Norris (McLaren) — 1:04.541

9. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) — 1:04.706

10. Esteban Ocon (Renault) — 1:04.746

11. Pierre Gasly (Alphatauri Honda) — 1:04.757

12. Daniil Kvyat (Alphatauri Honda) — 1:05.050

13. Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo) — 1:05.152

14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) — 1:05.365

15. George Russell (Williams) — 1:05.588

16. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) — 1:05.613

17. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) — 1:05.655

18. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) — 1:05.790

19. Romain Grosjean (Haas) — 1:06.096

20. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) — DNF

???????#AustrianGP ?? #F1 pic.twitter.com/0kjrFk1NIK

FIA Race Director Michael Masi provided an update on potential plans for the Styrian Grand Prix.

“The latest forecast is not looking great, there’s an 80 per cent chance of rain in FP3 at the moment and likelihood of very heavy showers throughout,” Michael said.

“There’s lots of options to put it simply. If a worst-case scenario was to come about, we’ve already had a look and qualifying could take place on Sunday morning.

“If we had a complete washout on Saturday, free practice three and qualifying didn’t take place and hypothetically qualifying couldn’t happen on Sunday morning because of weather, we would revert back to free practice two times.

“Or there’s the third iteration, which is free practice three can happen but we can’t have qualifying in the afternoon or qualifying Sunday morning and the grid would highly likely be set on the free practice three times.”

Lewis Hamilton placed sixth during Friday’s P2.Source:AFP

Last year’s Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton conceded it would “suck” if he was made to start Sunday’s race in sixth position after he registered an underwhelming time in P2.

“It felt relatively normal but quite far off,” Hamilton said.

“There’s a lot of work going on in the background to try and figure out why. But I was feeling good in P1 and then start of P2, but then it started to drop off.

“Others out there are obviously quick and Valtteri is obviously got good pace, so hopefully tomorrow we will be in a bit better position.

“If we have to start (sixth) that would definitely suck if we don’t get to qualify, because P2 wasn’t great, starting further back than I was even last week.

“It would definitely make it challenging. I’ll try to do the dry dance, if there is a dry dance!”

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