Friday in Shanghai saw limited running for Formula 1 teams as foggy conditions forced no running at all during the second free practice session.
Most of the first practice was also cancelled because of fog that wouldn’t permit the circuit’s medical helicopter to land at the designated hospital 38km away from the circuit.
Unfortunately, similar conditions have been predicted for the race on Sunday, which could force its cancellation.
Up to 20mm of rain has been predicted during Sunday by The Weather Network.
“The real shame is for the Formula 1 fans,” conceded Williams’ engineer, Rob Smedley, during the televised coverage of the second practice session. “We need to think about how we do things better,” he added.
In terms of compromises, the Bahrain Grand Prix is a back-to-back race with China so it’s unlikely that Formula 1 would run the race on Monday.
Sky F1’s Martin Brundle joined post-session coverage of Practice Two to report that teams were considering a race on Saturday. He, however, thought due to television schedules that this plan would be unlikely.
First chance for Liberty Media to show new F1 is different to Ecclestone era by bringing race forward to avoid Sunday’s weather #ChineseGP
— Ben Sathananthan (@bensathsports) April 7, 2017
Sebastian Vettel also seemed shocked when asked about the idea, saying to interviewer, Simon Lazenby, “I don’t know where you hear that weird stuff from.”
The last time a race was abandoned because of weather was in 2009, when the Malaysian Grand Prix was cancelled after just 33 of 56 laps because of torrential rain. That race, however, at least got started.
Coincidentally, the biggest story from Friday in China is that the Malaysian Grand Prix will be dropped from the calendar in 2018.
The full 2018 season will see 21 races in total, with the French and German Grand Prix’s both returning to Paul Ricard and Hockenheimring respectively.
Fans had this to say on Twitter:
— Zaid Mir (@Zaidmir7) April 7, 2017
— Darshan Chokhani (@DarshanChokhani) April 7, 2017