FIA reserves Sunday morning slot for Suzuka qualifying

Sat, 9 October 2010, 06:01

Oct.9 (GMM) With drivers reporting undriveable conditions and the local radar predicting even heavier rain ahead, the FIA has reserved a 10am timeslot for Sunday morning qualifying at Suzuka.

“I really don’t think there is going to be qualifying,” said Sebastien Buemi’s race engineer, just before Toro Rosso’s Swiss driver entered the circuit and spun during Saturday morning practice.

Lotus’ Mike Gascoyne confirmed that the weather forecast for qualifying is for even worse conditions than in practice, where the McLaren and Ferrari drivers were eventually grounded due to rivers of water causing aquaplaning.

“I cannot even drive on the straight,” complained Jaime Alguersuari.

Gascoyne told the BBC: “If it’s like this, they’ll have to look at postponing qualifying until tomorrow morning.”

Suzuka qualifying was run on Sunday morning in 2004 in order to avoid the typhoon Ma-on.

David Coulthard is taking a special interest in the developing events at Suzuka, having been scheduled as Red Bull’s reserve driver for the Japanese weekend.

The team’s usual reserve Daniel Ricciardo is in Europe for Formula Renault.

“Would I cope with the rigours of a race?” Coulthard wrote in the Telegraph. “Well, I’m in semi race-trim now but physically it would be tough, I must admit.”

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