Heavy rain puts USA Grand Prix at risk

2015-10-24 08:03
Bernie Ecclestone (File)

Austin - Torrential rain and dangerous electrical storms led to the cancellation of Friday's second free practice session and may threaten the running of this weekend's United States Grand Prix.

The session was initially postponed indefinitely because marshals at the Circuit of the Americas were unable to work because of the close proximity of the lightning.

Hopes of starting the session later were dashed when it was confirmed that practice had been abandoned because the circuit's medical helicopter would not be allowed to take off for at least two hours due to the conditions.

"@F1 @circuitamericas looks like my boat licence may help today....," tweeted Lotus's French driver Romain Grosjean.

If the conditions persist, as forecast, the race could be delayed or cancelled, many paddock observers said.

The opening free practice session, in the morning, was also hampered by rain and run in damp conditions.

Germany's Nico Rosberg, who is seeking a victory to keep alive his hopes of wrecking Mercedes team-mate and defending two-time champion Lewis Hamilton's Texan title party, was fastest in that session.

Hamilton was fifth and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who is second in the title race, was sixth, but the session was of little value and gave few clues as to the relative competitive potential of the teams.

The cancellation of Friday's action was not unexpected following forecasts of storms associated with typhoons in the region throughout the weekend.

Hurricane Patricia, which has hit the coast of Mexico, is reported to be the strongest storm ever measured.

Continued bad weather could lead to the cancellation of practice and qualifying on Saturday as well as Sunday.

The last time qualifying took place on a Sunday was at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix when the Saturday session was postponed because of heavy rain.

In 2004, and in 2010, qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix was abandoned on Saturday because of a typhoon and it took place on Sunday morning.

"There's nothing we can do," said the sport's commercial ring-master Bernie Ecclestone.

"It's alright for those of us who have got jobs and things to do, but I feel sorry for the public.

"They are here to enjoy some racing and all they are getting is soaked in the rain."

Read more on:    bernie ecclestone  |  f1

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.