Saturday, October 9, 2010

Prac Three: A lot of rain, very few laps

With the rain pouring down on Saturday morning and teams predicting qualifying will be cancelled, Practice Three saw a total of two drivers set lap times.

Although everyone ventured out for at least one lap, very few opted for a second as aquaplaning was the order of the morning with the rain continuing throughout the hour-long session.

Only two drivers, Jaime Alguersuari and Timo Glock, actually set lap times as practice was dominated by talk of whether or not qualifying will take place later today.

Report: With the forecast rain have arrived early on Saturday, soaking the Suzuka circuit, rivers in the pit lane did not bode well for the drivers at the start of Practice Three. But that did not stop them from venturing out with Jaime Alguersuari leading out the installation laps. But with the Spaniard almost aquaplaning off the track and Lucas di Grassi telling his team that the track was "undriveable", it could be a while before anyone attempts a lap time.

With the rain growing steadily heavier, Alguersuari was the first to try his hand at a lap time, however, he soon brought his Toro Rosso back into the pits, reporting major aquaplaning. Lewis Hamilton, who is still waiting for new parts for his MP4-25 following his crash in Friday's first practice, tried his luck before pitting while Alguersuari again hit the track - and promptly went off at the chicane. But back on track, the Spaniard finally crossed the line with a 1:58.016 - the one and only time set in the opening half of practice. He improved to a 1:55.902 while Timo Glock went second quickest.

And even though the rain was getting still heavier, there was movement in the pit lane as others suited up, ready to head out. The drivers have to get at least some running under their belts this morning as more of the same is expected in qualifying later today - should it take place, which is still up in the air.

Sebastien Buemi took his chances with 15 minutes left on the clock, put his Toro Rosso into a massive spin as he aquaplaned and opted to pit. This prompted Force India's Andy Stevenson to tell the BBC: "It is certainly F not safe to run. The drivers are more than capable but the tyres can't move so much water. We are not planning to send the drivers out in this."

With five minutes remaining, Hamilton attempted another go but returned to the pits as quickly - or in this case as slowly - as possible. Alguersuari went out again and was joined by Michael Schumacher but they soon pitted. And that was it for Practice Three.

01 J Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:55.902 9 laps
02 T Glock Virgin Racing 2:07.497 6 laps

Source: Planet F1

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