Rain throws up guessing game

The torrential rain in Japan has not only thrown up a massive schedule overhaul, with qualifying now taking place on Sunday morning because of the imminent arrival of Typhoon 22. It has also thrown up tyre and set-up problems for the race itself, which is expected to be dry and clear

Rain throws up guessing game

Drivers did minimal running in Friday's two free practice sessions with cars aquaplaning due to the amount of water on the track. As a result, teams have gathered very little data for either qualifying or the race, but, more importantly, they will be forced to choose a dry tyre for Sunday's race without even running any of the compounds.

"We are expecting conditions to worsen tomorrow, but Sunday should actually prove to be a mirror image of today, with the weather improving as the day goes on," Renault's engineering chief Pat Symonds said. "The small amount of running completed today will therefore be useful, but we will mainly rely on the wet set-ups that we prepare before every race.

"Everybody was in the same situation today and the conditions certainly look like giving us some interesting conundrums: for example, we will make a dry tyre choice tomorrow without having run either compound this weekend. I think that overall, though, finding the right set-up will require a cunning combination of experience and educated guesswork!"

Ferrari's Ross Brawn was pleased with the Bridgestone rubber, despite the limited running, and was confident that whatever the conditions on Sunday, Ferrari will still be strong.

"If it turns out to be dry on Sunday, it will be a very interesting situation as we would have to guess which tyre and what set-up to run," he said. "But the team is strong in unusual situations, so it would be an opportunity as well as a problem."

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