Formula 1 qualifying at the Russian Grand Prix could shift to Sunday morning due to fears over heavy rain threatening Sochi and already shaking the schedule.
After the Belgian Grand Prix washout, F1 is keen to avoid a repeat of fans sitting in the grandstands waiting for track action that is unlikely to arrive.
With 27,000-weekend tickets sold for the Russian event, feeder series F3 has already pulled forward its first race of the weekend from Saturday morning to Friday evening.
“The FIA Formula 3 Race 1 at Sochi Autodrom has been re-scheduled to today, Friday 24th September 2021, at 17.25 local time,” read a brief press release.
“It was originally planned for tomorrow, Saturday 25th September, at 08.35, but due to the uncertain weather forecast, the decision was made to bring it forward by one day.”
Weather reports suggest heavy rain will fall throughout Saturday, with the uncertainty over any running compounded by a flat track surface that is unlikely to drain quickly.
Speaking on Friday morning, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl explained conversations had already taken place to ensure a Belgian GP scenario is avoided
“I think for Sunday it doesn’t look too bad at the moment with what I have seen so I think there is actually a chance to have some dry running on Sunday,” he said.
“There was good dialogue yesterday already just in order to be prepared for different scenarios for this weekend.
“So I think everyone is prepared to react depending on how the weather forecast keeps developing.”