Rains cancel Free Practice session in Austin
With FP1 being the only session that could be successfully completed, relentless heavy downpours and thunder have lead to cancellation of the second free practice session
Cloudy weather in Austin had forecasted for the entire weekend along with showers, but for the Friday Free Practice the weather took a different turn by afternoon. The Free Practice session 1 was successful where Nico Rosberg topped the time-sheets, however thunder, lightening and a heavy downpour clouded the possibilities for the second session to get underway.
Initially the session was delayed but with no stop to the rain, marshalls were unable to work due to the proximity of lightening. An hour later after intense discussions between Bernie Ecclestone, Charlie Whiting and other stewards it was decided that P2 will be cancelled, as the medical helicopter operations cannot be carried out at least for the next two hours, which is almost till 4’o clock. A possibility of practice in the dusk seemed unlikely due to early sunset in Austin.
With the second practice session cancelled, questions also arise about the third practice session and qualifying sessions for Saturday. There is a prediction for more thunder showers tomorrow, and there are speculations of the qualifying getting postponed to Sunday morning. However that remains unconfirmed, and the press conference went on as usual followed by a drivers briefing.
A bigger worry remains for the following race weekend with the ‘potentially catastrophical’ hurricane Patricia looming over Mexico. There is a little rain forecasted for that particular race weekend as it is also after the hurricane would have hit, but given the altitude of Mexico city the havoc of the cyclone is likely to stay away from it and major damage should be around the coastlines. Nevertheless with hurricanes being the most unpredictable events of nature, speculations are rife about the weather situations clouding the success or questioning possibility of Formula 1’s return to Mexico after 40 years.
The Paddock Magazine link: http://www.thepaddockmagazine.com/2015/10/rain-vs-racing-in-austin-gp/