At the drivers’ briefing tonight, the biggest agenda to be discussed is the possibility of moving the Chinese GP from Sunday to Saturday.
Both free practice sessions for the Chinese GP today were essentially washed out due to poor weather conditions and resulting safety issues.
Photo : @F1 on Twitter
FIA rules state that an F1 session cannot take place if neither an ambulance nor a medical helicopter can get from the track to a hospital in 20 minutes if and when required.
The designated hospital for the Chinese GP is 38 kms away i.e. too far for the ambulance to do it in 20 minutes, and the bad weather means the helicopter can’t do it either.
With more bad weather expected on Sunday, the same situation might mean the race could be washed out.
However, with better weather expected on Saturday, the idea is to have qualifying and the race on the same day tomorrow.
“Liberty Media and Sean Bratches are really worried that if it is the same today, we may not have a Grand Prix”, said Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz, “That’s why he wants to have a look at racing tomorrow.”
FIA officials have denied it so far, but with a unanimous agreement by all teams and drivers, the Chinese GP could possibly go ahead and happen tomorrow.
Yes, it might inconvenience the fans who bought tickets for the Sunday, but it will still inconvenience them if the race gets washed out, won’t it?
UPDATE : The decision was supposed to be made tonight but F1 race director Charlie Whiting has confirmed that the Chinese GP will go on as planned – Qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday. Whiting and his team are confident that the weather won’t be as bad on Sunday and a change to the schedule is not required.
It is ideal to go ahead with the original idea because otherwise TV broadcast schedules and ticket refunds would be a nightmare, but then again having taken this stance, Mr Whiting will hope and pray that it doesn’t chuck it down on Sunday resulting in a washed out Chinese GP.
Feature image courtesy : Formula 1.
– Aditya Bhat.