The threat of heavy rain throughout Saturday at Sochi Autodrom could lead Formula 1 to postpone its qualifying session to Sunday.
Practice began under blue skies at the circuit this morning but the weather is expected to take a turn for the worse on Saturday. The official FIA forecast indicates constant rain is expected from tomorrow morning. Conditions may improve late in the afternoon, but other forecasts indicate the rain will set in for the day.
That threatens to present a serious headache for the organisers, who have an unusually busy day of track activities on Saturday. The decision to reschedule Formula 3’s season finale to this weekend has increased the number of support races due to take place in Sochi.
In addition to F1’s final practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday, Formula 2 and Formula 3 are due to hold two races each. F2 and F3 also have a further race each on the morning of the grand prix, when conditions are expected to improve.
Formula 1 has already begun discussing the possibility of rescheduling sessions if Saturday’s running is disrupted. “Sunday doesn’t look too bad actually at the moment, with what I’ve seen,” said McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl. “So I think there’s actually a chance to have some dry running on Sunday.
“There was a good dialogue yesterday already just in order to be prepared for different scenarios for this weekend. So I think everyone is prepared to react depending on how the weather forecast keeps developing.”
If F1 is forced to postpone its qualifying session to Sunday, that could have a knock-on effect for F2 and F3’s races. Sunday’s Formula 3 race is its final event of the season and could decide the championship, which Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan are in contention to win.
Last month Formula 1 was unable to hold a single racing lap at Spa-Francorchamps due to heavy rain on Sunday. The race was red-flagged after three laps behind the Safety Car and half points awarded based on the positions after a single lap of running.
Russian Grand Prix Saturday and Sunday track activity
Russian Grand Prix
Sunset is expected at 18:13 on Saturday and 18:11 on Sunday.
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