The first F3 race of the weekend was red-flagged and abandoned halfway through due to seriously heavy rain
There were concerns about the weather this weekend, with fears that the entirety of Saturday could end up being a washout and forcing F1 to have to qualify on Sunday morning - or, in the worst-case scenario, set the grid using times from FP2.
The chances of one of those two options happening just drastically improved after Saturday morning’s F3 race bore the brunt of an immense downpour.
The race started in OK conditions - the track was a bit damp, but some drivers were still willing to gamble on starting on slicks. However, as the formation lap began the rain began to fall and those who had gambled on slicks pitted immediately.
The wet race continued fairly cleanly, with most drivers getting through the opening laps unscathed. There was a VSC to clear away the car of Alex Smolyar, who hit the pit wall coming out of the final corner. A few laps later, there was a full-on safety car when Clement Novolak spun off with a puncture, though he managed to get going on his own again.
However, during those delays, the rain had become even heavier. Some drivers were already complaining that conditions were too bad to race and at the restart, two incidents occurred: Roman Stanek aquaplaned into the gravel, and Enaam Ahmed and Sebastian Fernandez collided on the run up to Turn 3, prompting the red flag and a race stoppage.
After a bit of time waiting in the pits, officials eventually called off the rest of the race as the weather continued to worsen. Frederik Vesti took the win ahead of Lirim Zendelli and David Beckmann.
In terms of F1, there’s still FP3 to deal with first and then a few hours until qualifying, which gives the weather a bit of a chance to clear. However, the forecast is for the rain to continue all day, making it a real possibility that qualifying could be cancelled. That then leaves F1 with the decision of whether to try and squeeze qualifying in on Sunday morning, or use FP2 times to set the grid.
If that happens, it’d mean Max Verstappen on pole from Valtteri Bottas, with the Racing Points of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll in third and fourth. Lewis Hamilton would only be sixth and Sebastian Vettel down in 16th, which could make for some interesting racing on Sunday…