FIA Director Provides Much-Needed Update on Russian GP Qualifying Amidst Cancellation Threats

Published 09/25/2021, 6:34 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 23, 2021 F1 cars are pictured ahead of the Russian GP REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


The rain that was predicted throughout the weekend in Sochi has arrived. F1 teams and drivers were greeted with a rain-soaked Saturday morning that might disrupt the plans for the weekend. There are a lot of question marks on whether we will have a qualifying session at the Russian GP today.

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F1 journalist Will Buxton mentioned he spoke to Micheal Masi who has assured everyone that they will do everything to make qualifying happen today.

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The torrential rain disrupts the F2 running at the Russian GP

Russian Grand Prix is hosting F1, F2, and F3 races at the Sochi Autodrom this weekend. While we saw two practice sessions for F1 and a race for F3 yesterday, F2 was planned to go this morning. But the torrential rain in Sochi has postponed the Sprint Race-1 for the Formula 2 field.

Buxton tweeted,” F2 cars have left their paddock for the F1 pit lane and the heavens have opened again. Spoke to Michael Masi, who confirmed the plan for today, remains to run F1 FP3 and Quali as normal, weather dependent.

“Any Q delay is ultimately dictated by failing light. All else fails, Q tomorrow.” 

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We will aim to start all sessions: Micheal Masi

Race Director Michael Masi has come out to give an update on whether we will some action today. Masi hopes that the intensity of the rain will decrease by the time of qualifying.

“As we can see already this morning, the weather’s gone up and down like a Yoyo, and the intensity of the rain has been increasing, with some thunder also joining us,” said Masi.

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Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 24, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

“But effectively the procedure per today will be that we will aim to start all sessions, get everything ready from an operational perspective, and then judge the conditions at the time.

“What we’re seeing from the forecast side is that we will have… rain until about 1330-1430 local time, and then it decreasing in the afternoon. The priority from today’s perspective is obviously Formula 1 qualifying this afternoon.” said the FIA race director.

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If the rain does not slow down today, the qualifying will be shifted to Sunday morning. The last F1 race that had qualifying and race on the same day was 2019 Japan.

Will we see a repeat of that in 2021 Russia? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

443 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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