F1: Inclement Weather in Shanghai Halted Drivers Practice Friday
The 2nd F1 practice session for the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai did not take place as inclement weather meant the race’s medical helicopter could not operate in accordance with the current Formula One regulations.
Low clouds over Shanghai meant the medical helicopter was not able to land at the designated emergency hospital, so even though aircraft could fly at the Shanghai International Circuit, no on-track action happened.
The lack of running in FP2 leaves the field short of practice running after Friday’s earlier FP1 session was also disrupted by the same weather and medical helicopter issues.
F1 race director explained in an interview the situation preventing the medical helicopter from operating as required.
“At the moment it can’t land at the hospital, which is about 38km away unfortunately. It looks reasonable here I know and there are helicopters flying here but they can’t land at the airport, which is downtown Shanghai unfortunately,” he said.
“We’re getting news from the airport, which is also affected by the low cloud, every ten minutes. So we’re just keeping up with that. If things don’t change there will be no practice. We have a fixed end to the session so if it’s not clear by 3.30p, there will not be a P2.”
That eventually came to pass and the session was called off with just over 10 mins of the designated time remaining.
FP1 was delayed for more than 45mins due to the medical helicopter problem, and the track was wet after an earlier rain shower.
The drivers that appeared when that session got on the track, but 14 would set a timed lap, all on the full wets before quickly changing to the intermediates.
Max Verstappen topped the times with a 1m50.491s for Red Bull, which was 1.595s quicker than Williams’ Felipe Massa, who was 2nd.
Lance Stroll came 3rd in the 2nd Williams, 0.421secs slower than his team-mate, with Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean in 4th and 5th for Toro Rosso and Haas F1.
Daniil Kvyat was 6th, ahead of Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, while Kevin Magnussen rounded out the Top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg finished 11th and the session was halted with 4mins left to run on the FP1 clock.
Stoffel Vandoorne came 12th for McLaren, ahead of the Sauber’s duo Marcus Ericsson and Antonio Giovinazzi.
The Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) and MercedesAMG drivers did not set a flying lap time.
The wet running in FP1 meant that Pirelli’s 2017 wet weather tires were given their 1st test on a Grand Prix race weekend.
Pirelli’s racing manager explained that the crossover points for the full wets to intermediates would be different this season and that the new tires meant the drivers could set significantly quicker times than they could with their predecessors.
He said: “Today was the GP debut for our 2017-specification wet and intermediate tires. We also have a wet weather tire in a different compound with the target of providing more grip. Its test wasn’t particularly significant due to the lack of running.
“However, we did see a fastest time from Max Verstappen that was seven seconds faster than the intermediate tire in China last year. With both the wet and intermediate tires being new this year, the crossover points are different and we saw the teams experimenting with those in FP1.
“The weather forecast still seems uncertain for the next few days so it’s hard to know what to expect tomorrow and for the race.”
Note: French manufacturer Renault announced Thursday it will unveil its newest Formula One concept car during an upcoming auto international exhibition in Shanghai.
Chinese Grand Prix FP1 results
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m50.491s, 4 laps
2 Felipe Massa Williams 1m52.086s +1.595s, 7 laps
3 Lance Stroll Williams 1m52.507s +2.016s, 7 laps
4 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1m52.840s +2.349s, 5 laps
5 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 1m53.039s +2.548s, 6 laps
6 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m53.314s +2.823s, 4 laps
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m53.520s +3.029s, 5 laps
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m54.038s +3.547s, 7 laps
9 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m54.664s +4.173s, 4 laps
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 1m55.104s +4.613s, 8 laps
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m55.608s +5.117s, 6 laps
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1m57.445s +6.954s, 4 laps
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 2m15.138s +24.647s, 4 laps
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber 2m15.281s +24.790s, 4 laps
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault No time set 3 laps
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari No time set 2 laps
17 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari No time set 1 laps
18 Esteban Ocon Force India No time set 2 laps
19 Sergio Perez Force India No time set 3 laps
20 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes No time set 2 laps
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|NYSE:RACE||71.89||7 April 2017||-0.72||72.11||72.26||71.89||391,100|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Very Bullish (0.51)||Bullish (0.37)||Very Bullish (0.56)||Very Bullish (0.58)|
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