F1 bracing for qualifying delays as storm hits Red Bull Ring

Formula 1 is bracing for a potential Sunday qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, as the expected storm rolled in to the circuit on Saturday morning

F1 bracing for qualifying delays as storm hits Red Bull Ring

The FIA and teams have been well aware of the incoming bad weather, and had already discussed different scenarios if Saturday's track action cannot go ahead.

The downpour duly hit the Red Bull Ring shortly before the F3 race on Saturday, with the event eventually abandoned with 10 laps to go with conditions deemed too unsafe to continue.

Track inspections will be conducted by the FIA ahead of F1's third free practice to see whether it is safe enough for F1 to run.

Current forecasts indicate, however, that the rain will not ease until the late afternoon, which could leave F1 unable to run either the final free practice session or qualifying.

PLUS: Red Bull edges closer to Mercedes as rain threat clouds order

The first option should qualifying not be able to run today is to slot a session in on Sunday morning, which is now looking possible with the forecasts for race day improving.

F1 race director Michael Masi said on Saturday evening that fears of even Sunday morning being a washout had eased.

"Earlier in the day it looked like Sunday morning was not going to be great either," he said. "But that looks to have cleared up."

Should today's action not take place, and F1 is unable to run a qualifying session on Sunday morning, then the grid would be set by the second free practice times from Friday.

That would put Max Verstappen on pole position ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez, with Lewis Hamilton in sixth position behind Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz Jr.

F1 last held qualifying on a Sunday morning at last year's Japanese Grand Prix when Typhoon Hagibis ruled out track running on Saturday at Suzuka.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
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