FP3 Canceled as F1 Drivers Head Into Wet Qualifying With Minimal Running at Sochi

The stewards are having quite a hard time managing the schedules for the Russian Grand Prix. Rains have hardly let up, making track conditions absolutely undrivable for the F1 cars. Hence, the final practice session will not take place at the Russian Grand Prix.

Michael Masi, race director, initially mentioned that they would green-flag the FP3 session and immediately red flag it in a bid to start the clock. Interestingly, this scenario was only meant to be considered if the weather showed any signs of giving F1 a break.

F1 paddock at Sochi
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 25, 2021 General view as FP3 is cancelled due to rain ahead of qualifying REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

But, looking at the radar, more bands are waiting to strike the circuit, some heavy as well. So, with Sochi already witnessing streams rolling down the tarmac, F1 cars will probably hydroplane, leaving the drivers as passengers inside their own cars.

Hence, this is the best possible decision the stewards can make, considering qualifying is inching closer.

FP3 cancelation a blessing in disguise for F1 qualifying?

Certainly! Bad light has been one of the concerns irking the stewards, as Sochi will be seeing early sunset at this time of the year. And now, to make things worse, the cloud cover.

With dark grey clouds absolutely engulfing the circuit, qualifying might have a much lesser timeframe. But, now, amidst the absence of FP3, F1 will enjoy a breathing space to assert the timings of upcoming sessions, including that of support races.

F1 paddock at Sochi
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 25, 2021 A man pushes wheels as FP3 is cancelled due to rain ahead of qualifying REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

As of now, it looks like qualifying will take place as per schedule, or maybe even earlier than the scheduled 3:00 PM local time.

Conditions look quite similar to the one we witnessed over the bizarre Belgian Grand Prix; There are likely to be occasional breaks in the rain, heading into the afternoon. Hence, starting the session early would mean that F1 will hold sufficient time in hand to complete all three parts of qualifying.

Of course, it is heartbreaking to watch the session being called off. But, the good news is that Sunday looks much better for on-track actions. So, are we set to witness an all-Sunday drama at the Sochi Autodrom?

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The post FP3 Canceled as F1 Drivers Head Into Wet Qualifying With Minimal Running at Sochi appeared first on EssentiallySports.

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