Rain was the order of the day at Suzuka today - and there was plenty of it. Virgin Racing took full advantage of the situation to finish second and third in the third free practice session for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. Admittedly, only two...
Rain was the order of the day at Suzuka today - and there was plenty of it. Virgin Racing took full advantage of the situation to finish second and third in the third free practice session for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.
Admittedly, only two cars completed flying laps, but P2 is P2 and this is the highest position reached by any new team at the end of an official session this year!
Qualifying was delayed three times but rain didn't stop play at Virgin Racing. Timo and Lucas stayed relaxed and put the time to good use by playing poker in the garage, much to the delight of the assembled media. Lucas appeared to have the upper hand when qualifying was officially postponed.
Qualifying will now take place at 10:00 am Japanese time on Sunday morning, weather permitting. This will be the first time that a Formula One qualifying session has been delayed until the morning of the race since the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix, when Typhoon Ma-on hit Suzuka.
Lucas di Grassi:
"This Saturday was very unusual and I managed only the installation lap in Free Practice 3. We should have a dry Sunday, so we're going to continue the work from yesterday's Free Practice 2 and I am confident that with the new upgrades and a good set-up we can achieve a good result on Sunday."
"Free Practice 3 was very difficult this morning because there was so much standing water and rivers of rain running across the track. Jaime Alguersuari and I were the only drivers to record timed laps, so we had a little more track time but there wasn't much to learn in those conditions. Tomorrow could be very exciting, so we'll do everything we can to make the most of every opportunity the situation might present."
John Booth, Team Principal:
"Obviously today's weather meant there was little we could learn from the circuit. Everyone seemed to be struggling with aquaplaning in the very wet conditions and it was the correct decision to postpone qualifying. Tomorrow will be a hectic day and it is by no means certain that the track will be dry, which may be to our advantage. I'm sure the team and drivers will do a good job in the face of whatever situation they have to deal with."