By Alan Baldwin
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Qualifying for Sunday’s U.S. Formula One Grand Prix was postponed by one hour on Saturday, with further delays looking likely, as heavy rain and gusting winds made track conditions unsafe.
Final practice for what could be a title-deciding race on Sunday was run earlier without spectators being allowed through the gates.
They were admitted for qualifying, even though most grandstand seats remained empty except for those sheltered from the rain.
“Unless the rain settles we’re not going to run. If the rain continues it’s just logic we won’t run today. Even if it just drizzles we can’t go out there. I’m sure we’ll run tomorrow,” Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo told the BBC.
The Australian had not even changed into his overalls.
If qualifying does not happen on Saturday, it could be held on Sunday morning if the weather improves as expected. Otherwise, the times from final practice will set the grid.
World champion Lewis Hamilton, who could win his third title on Sunday, was fastest in that session for Mercedes. The Briton has won two of the three previous races held in Austin.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)