F1: Final practice for Russian GP cancelled due to rain

Heavy rain in Sochi means the final practice session for the Russian GP will not take place this morning.

Next time cars will be on track will be for qualifying – this afternoon, or if the rain too heavy, then Sunday morning.

In a bulletin issued by the FIA in the lead-up to the planned start of final practice at the Sochi Autodrom, it was confirmed that a request had been received to call off the session.

“Having received a request from the Race Director and the Clerk of the Course, in accordance with Article 15.3 a) of the Formula One Sporting Regulations, and Articles 11.9.3.m and 11.9.3.o of the FIA International Sporting Code, decide, in the interest of safety, to modify the Official Program by cancelling Free Practice Session 3 due to Force Majeure,” the bulletin reads.

“For the purposes of the regulations and associated time limits, Free Practice Session 3 will be considered as having taken place, except where otherwise advised by the Race Director.”

F1 race director Michael Masi said “The procedure for today will be that we will aim to start all sessions, get everything ready from an operational perspective, and then judge the conditions at the time,” Masi said.

“We have what we’ve seen from a forecast side is that we will have this level of rain until about 1:30-2pm local time, and then it decreasing in the afternoon.

“So priority from today’s perspective is obviously Formula 1 qualifying this afternoon.”

“Sunset locally is about 18:15 in the evening, but with weather conditions like this, obviously light diminishes far earlier,” Masi said.

“That will ultimately be our cut off point. If qualifying is able to happen today, as we have seen a few times before in the past, then we will hold qualifying on Sunday morning.”