A wintry cold front from Canada brought record-breaking low temperatures this week in the US, with a series of storms set to continue into the weekend, when Formula One races come to Circuit of the Americas.
The current cold front passing through Texas and Austin took Sunday’s 32ºC heat and plunged the temperatures to only just over 5ºC on Monday to match a 104-year-old record for the coldest October 15th ever in Austin.
— Tim Wood (@GPAmericas) October 15, 2018
Thunderstorms have brought almost 2 inches of rain to parts of the Austin metro area with at least 12 power outages with nearly 2,000 residents being without power. Formula One fans attending the race should prepare for a high likelihood of very heavy rain at Circuit of the Americas throughout the weekend.
F1 fans will no doubt have flashbacks to a similar event in Austin during the 2015 Grand Prix where torrential downpours caused chaos, particularly during the Friday free practice; the second practice session was cancelled due to heavy rain and a thunderstorm. The other two practice session were run in wet conditions.
Inclement weather continued to disrupt the Saturday’s proceedings as qualifying was delayed multiple times before being ultimately rescheduled for Sunday morning.
With more rain falling on Sunday, the decision was made to cancel the third part of qualifying and use the results of Q2 to determine the grid. Nico Rosberg secured his third consecutive pole position at the time, ahead of Hamilton, Ricciardo, and Daniil Kvyat. Fifth fastest was Sebastian Vettel for Ferrari.
The most memorable moment of the race, the infamous hat chuck from Nico to Lewis after the British driver overhauled his German team mate taking the Championship with several races to spare.
The last nail in the coffin for Vettel and Ferrari?
Should the worst happen and the floods occur in Austin again, then it’s very likely to be the last Grand Prix we’ll see Vettel in with a theoretical chance of stopping Hamilton from taking his 5th drivers crown.
Sebastian Vettel feels Ferrari’s Formula 1 car is just not as competitive in the wet as Mercedes, proven by the Ferrari’s poor performance during the wet Hungarian GP this year.
“Probably we are not as competitive in the wet as we are in the dry, but you know in these conditions anything can happen” said Vettel at the time.
When asked why the high-downforce advantage Ferrari has appeared to have over Mercedes in normal conditions did not translate to a wet session, Vettel replied: “Well, it’s not always that straightforward.”
“I see where you’re coming from, but we’ve not had much running in the wet this year so far. The little bit we had, we have some work still to do.” explained Vettel in Hungary, clearly showing further holes in the Ferrari’ team.
Badger GP published a useful chart yesterday showing where Vettel ends up on Sunday, will determine if Hamilton will be world Champion.