Daily Archives: October 9, 2010

Suzuka qualifying washout in pictures

As we all know, this morning’s Japanese Grand Prix qualifying session did not go ahead, after torrential rain flooded the track and pit lane.

Even before qualifying, conditions were still torrential

Even before qualifying, conditions were still torrential

With this in mind, I thought I’d put up a few pictures of Saturday in Suzuka, to have a look at what the teams and drivers got up to during the postponed session…

First of all, several teams, such as Red Bull, Sauber and Lotus decided to make boats and race them down the pit lane. Apparently Heikki Kovalainen stole a fire exit sign to use for his, but I can’t find any photos to prove it!

Red Bulls' attempt at boat racing down the pit lane

Red Bulls' attempt at boat racing down the pit lane

The best boat in the paddock in my opinion - the S.S Sauber

The best boat in the paddock in my opinion - the S.S Sauber

Meanwhile, Virgin decided they would use their slick tyres to good use – by using them as seats for a few rounds of poker:

Lucas di Grassi seems to have the edge over Timo Glock..

Lucas di Grassi seems to have the edge over Timo Glock..

Sebastian Vettel borrowed one of Sutton Images’ SLR cameras, and apparently wasn’t too bad at it:

Sebastian Vettel tries his hand at photography

Sebastian Vettel tries his hand at photography

It might have been fun for them, but I’m just looking forward to the racing tomorrow. I’ll just leave you with a reminder that a wet pit lane is slippier than some would have thought…

Hamilton suffers 5-place grid penalty for gearbox change

Lewis Hamilton has been handed a 5-place grid penalty, after changing his gearbox in Saturday Practice earlier today. However, it is still unknown where he will start, as qualifying has been delayed until 2:00 GMT tomorrow morning, after heavy rain this morning.

This change explains why Hamilton took such little part in Friday Practice 2, as many had previously believed his car was being repaired after his crash in FP1.

However, it has now been confirmed that an unauthorised gearbox change occurred, as his previous gearbox had not lasted 4 races. McLaren explained the move:

“In P3 [final practice] we noticed abnormal gearbox oil pressure on Lewis’s car which we believed we had corrected ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session,” read a McLaren team statement.

“This afternoon, as we fired up Lewis’s car several times in preparation for qualifying, we became aware that the symptoms were worse than we’d originally diagnosed.

“A decision was later taken to change the gearbox ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session and the grand prix. As a result, Lewis will receive a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race.”

This will serve as another blow to Lewis’ title hopes, as he sits 20 points behind current championship leader Mark Webber.

Qualifying postponed until Sunday after torrential rain

Japanese GP qualifying has been postponed until tomorrow

Japanese GP qualifying has been postponed until tomorrow

Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix has been postponed until Sunday morning, after a torrential rain storm hit the track, and will continue for several hours. As the track will be dark by the time the rain gets anywhere near calming down, the stewards have taken the decision to delay qualifying until tomorrow.

In Saturday Practice, 3 hours before qualifying, conditions were just as horrendous, with only Jaime Alguersuari and Timo Glock setting a lap time, and not without a few spins either. Any driver who went out, even those who didn’t set a lap, said it was completely impossible to drive.

While it has not yet been confirmed, it is believed that the session will now begin at 10am local time (2am GMT), and there is no news yet about what broadcasters will be showing the sessions live. However, there may well be clashing times with the Commonwealth Games coverage on some networks.

As for today, there was nothing to do apart from watch the teams make boats and race them down the flooded pit lane. It is not yet know how wet the track will be for qualifying tomorrow, but I will update as soon as I hear about it.

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