Chinese GP practices wiped out by rain, fog

Chinese GP practices wiped out by rain, fog

SHANGHAI — When Lewis Hamilton finally emerged from the garages on a rainy, foggy Friday at the Chinese Grand Prix, it wasn’t to take his Mercedes out for a practice lap, it was to sign hats to throw into the crowd.

Hamilton and the other Formula One drivers had very little time on the Shanghai International Circuit after poor visibility wiped out much of the day’s two practice sessions.

With the circuit’s medical helicopter unable to land at the nearest hospital in case of an accident, F1 cancelled the afternoon session completely and gave drivers the green light for only about 20 minutes in the morning.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen had the fastest lap time of the abbreviated morning session. Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and Hamilton failed to set a lap time.

After the second session was called off, Hamilton walked onto the track to take pictures of the hardy fans who remained hoping for the weather to clear. He signed hats and threw them into the cheering crowd.

“Not a great day,” Hamilton said. “The track was absolutely fine and we could have run all day today with no issue if it weren’t for the clouds.”

On Twitter, the three-time world champion pressed the FIA and F1’s new owners, Liberty Media, to adjust the weekend schedule to allow for more practice runs. He suggested holding three practice sessions on Saturday and then qualifying on Sunday morning before the race.

“This could actually be a blessing in disguise. A chance for new bosses to be proactive & be creative,” Hamilton tweeted.

The FIA ruled out adjusting the schedule due to the weather, spokesman Matteo Bonciani said. The forecast for Saturday’s qualifying was expected to be clear, but rain could return for Sunday’s race.

The slick conditions caused plenty of sliding for the brief time the drivers were on the track in the morning. Haas racers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean spun at Turn 9 and Renault driver Niko Hulkenberg ended up in the gravel after spinning on Turn 3.

“It’s going to be the same for everyone (on Saturday),” said Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes. “We’re very keen to see how we’re performing here, which we didn’t find out today.”

Justin Bergman, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Saanich man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Greater Victoria faces multiple charges following six-month investigation

Greater Victoria’s living wage now costs $20.50 an hour

Cost of living increase drives region’s living wage up 49 cents, leaving you able to afford only one latte per year

Vancouver Island is home to some of the ‘rattiest’ cities in B.C.

Three municipalities in Greater Victoria, and three more around the Island have gnawed their way into the top 20

Spill at Victoria airport prompts emergency response

North Saanich Fire and ambulance respond to spill of unknown substance

North Saanich targets recreational pot on ALR land

District adds voice to municipalities calling for production to stay off ALR land

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

Cat found stuffed in box in Dumpster in northeastern B.C.

Still alive, cat was found near Dawson Creek restrained with zip ties, legs forced behind neck

Fears prompt feds to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Wire-bristle safety fears prompt Ottawa to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Don’t forget about women left to sweep up shards of glass ceiling, W7 urges G7

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau champions gender equality at the G7 he is being asked to raise the concerns of marginalized women

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Sky-high farmland prices ‘ruinous’ for B.C. agriculture: UFV ag professor

Fraser Valley-based Tom Baumann says $80K-per-acre in area threatens food security

Sights of Saanich bring smiles to Japanese delegation

A small leap highlighted the short but potentially historic visit of a… Continue reading

Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Officials from Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland part of talks

Greenbelt Microgreens recall in B.C., Alberta, due to Listeria concerns

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there have been no illnesses linked to the microgreens

Most Read