It looks like the Grand Prix weekend in Austria will not be a dry one either. Last month, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix had to be cancelled due to flooding, and since then, we have seen rain showers in Monaco, Spain and Canada. Next week, the Formula 1 circus will visit Austria, where rain is predicted throughout the entire weekend.
In Austria, the teams and drivers will face a sprint race for the second time this year. This means that the qualifying for the Sunday Grand Prix will take place on Friday afternoon, followed by the sprint race on Saturday. This increases the likelihood that, similar to Canada, the drivers will have to use rain tires during qualifying because rain is forecasted primarily for Friday in Austria. Weather.com predicts thunderstorms and a 62 percent chance of rain. WeerOnline expects something similar, with a 60 percent chance of rain. Additionally, the expected amount of precipitation is significant, at 12.7 millimeters.
Variable weather during races
Saturday and Sunday can still go either way. WeerOnline predicts a 45 percent chance of rain during the sprint race on Saturday, with a lower precipitation amount of 6.2 millimeters compared to Friday. Weather.com estimates a 41 percent chance of rain on Saturday, with a possibility of thunderstorms as well. The drivers will start the Sprint Shootout at 12:00 p.m., followed by the sprint race itself scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
A day later, the Grand Prix will start at 3:00 p.m. So far, this is the day of the weekend with the least predicted rain. Weather.com forecasts a 33 percent chance of precipitation, while WeerOnline expects a 50 percent chance of rain. At 4.6 millimeters, the amount of rainfall is lower than on Friday and Saturday. If the qualifying takes place on a wet track on Friday, we may see surprises in the starting lineup on Sunday. Nico Hülkenberg, who excelled in Canada on Saturday, started second in Austria in 2016 after a brief rain shower during qualifying.
Update 12:35pm (27/06) | Chaos expected in Austria with increasing chance of rain
The chance of rain during the Grand Prix weekend in Austria has further increased. While earlier predictions indicated that Friday would be the wettest day, the current forecast suggests that Saturday has the highest chance of rain. This could result in the first wet sprint race in the history of the sport. The chance of rain remains high on Friday and Sunday as well.
WeerOnline is counting on 4.2 millimeters of rain on Friday, with a 65 percent chance of precipitation. It should be noted that the rain is primarily expected in the afternoon and evening. This means that the qualifying session, which begins at 5:00 p.m., could take place under changing conditions. The drivers will also be hoping for a dry first free practice, as that is the only hour of practice time for the drivers.
On Saturday, the chance of rain is as high as 80 percent, with the afternoon again expected to be the wettest part of the day. The precipitation amount is also considerable at 10.1 millimeters, so presumably we can get ready for a wet Sprint Shootout and then over thirty minutes of chaos in the sprint race. Less rain is expected on Sunday with "only" 4.3 millimeters, but the chance of rain is still 65%. The chances of excitement and spectacle are high this weekend!
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