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

VIDEO: New UVic buildings expand student housing by 25 per cent

Over 600 new beds mean off-campus housing freed up for affordable housing for Victoria residents

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh proposes new approach to tackling opioid crisis

Singh says the government should look at harm reduction rather than punishment

Dog killed in James Bay hit-and-run

Pedestrian narrowly missed by vehicle, VicPD say

West Shore parents want $10-a-day daycare pilot at other centres

Some parents want pilot funding going towards families in financial need

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

First ticket sold for Victoria’s second comic con

Guest list is top-secret for the March 22-24 Capital City Comic Con coming 2019

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

Most Read