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Drivers Philosophical over cancellation of FP2

Posted on October 23, 2015

Written by Peter Hubbard

Heavy rains on Friday afternoon led to the cancellation of FP2, in advance of 2105 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. As a result, race teams were unable to do much in preparation for Sunday’s race since the first practice, FP1, was conducted on a wet surface with drivers reluctant to push too much, since the supply of wet-weather tires was limited.

Weather conditions are expected to improve in time to Sunday’s race, but practice laps Saturday may be few, or non-existent, prior to that.

“Unfortunately, we were not take very much from the first free practice,” admitted Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. “We only did three timed laps because we wanted to save intermediate tires for the second session. We don’t have many sets of tires for the rain conditions and if we still expect more rain it’s better to keep them. It’s a difficult situation but it’s the same for everybody. At the moment we are just guessing. With these weather conditions there’s more gamble and more chances for odd races. It can go all for you or against you. It’s a shame for everybody, the spectators can’t see anything and we can’t drive because of the conditions. Hopefully we get the proper conditions at least on Sunday and we can do qualifying and race. We’ll try to make the right decisions. I’m sure we have the speed to recover at the start.”

“For me it wasn't a bad day,” commented Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg. I did my homework in the morning session, had a good quick lap and also tried a bit of work on set-up. But it's a shame for the spectators out there. They pay a lot of money to be here and didn't see a single car driving in the afternoon. So let's see what Saturday brings. Unfortunately, the forecast is not good,” he added.

“I have witnessed something like this before. We had a year in Canada where the race was held for a long time due to rain; and we had a year in Japan where we had to cancel qualifying on Saturday and do it on Sunday, instead,” remarked Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. “It is a shame, especially for the people who came to see us this weekend here at the circuit. But there is not much we can do. We have to remain calm and get prepared for Saturday, and anticipate it being just a normal day. Today we obviously didn't learn a lot. But everybody is in the same situation,” added Vettel.

“I love it when it rains … just not on practice day!” exclaimed Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. The weather has just been unbelievable. I don't think I've ever seen rain like this. It's kind of cool to watch, in many ways, but I feel terrible for all the fans that turned out today. I didn't complete many laps in the morning as the track was drying out and I wanted to save my tires for the afternoon session. But in the end we didn't get to go out. I would actually have liked to, just to see what it would have been like in those conditions, but of course the safety of the marshals and everyone else has to come first. I was surprised by how much grip there was on the intermediates in the few laps I did get, though. The track surface varies massively between circuits and I think this is the most grip I can remember having on those tires. It really did feel very good, so we'll have a lot of fun if it's like that in the race. There's not a lot you can do in these situations. You want to be out there but you just have to sit and try to enjoy some down time … then make sure you're fresh and ready to go the next day. We've got very little information to work with now, so the rest of the weekend will be intense,” he concluded.

“It was good to be back driving here in Austin again. It’s just a shame about the weather, as we were not able to complete many laps because of the rain,” noted Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen. “But I have to say, the car was performing well in the wet – so we can be happy about that. You never want this much rain on a Friday, especially during my rookie year when it so important is to get as much mileage under your belt at each track as possible, but we just have to deal with it.”

“It actually didn't feel too bad out on the track yesterday, especially with a fresh set of intermediates,” said Lotus’ Romain Grosjean. “However, there wasn't much point in completing a lot of laps. The main thing I learnt was that when they say everything is bigger in Texas they mean it; especially with the rain!” he remarked.