Formula 1’s third free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix has been cancelled. The race management decided not to start the session due to the heavy rainfall at the Sochi Autodrom.
Rainfall radar predicted little good for Saturday’s action and the rain continued to fall from the sky in torrents. As a result, the Formula 2 race this morning was already postponed for an indefinite period and the thunderstorms continued to plague the circuit after that. Because it was too wet and the rain radar showed little improvement, the race management decided more than fifteen minutes before the start of the third free practice to cancel it.
The focus is on Formula 1 for the rest of the day, even though there were still two Formula 2 races and one Formula 3 race scheduled for today. “The priority is Saturday afternoon’s Formula 1 qualifying,” emphasizes race director Michael Masi. “It is at the top of the list. Fortunately, we have created some leeway in the schedule by already having the first Formula 3 race on Friday, instead of Saturday morning. Given how much rain fell at the time, it was absolutely the right decision.”
Around the start of qualifying, at 2:00 PM Dutch time, the weather should be better. If necessary, the start can be postponed. There is scope for this too, although it is also limited due to the sunset at 6:15 pm local time (5:15 pm Dutch time). “If the weather on Saturday afternoon is as bad as Saturday morning, it will also get dark much earlier. If we can’t qualify on Saturday afternoon, we’ll do it Sunday morning.”