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Austin set for heavy rain across US GP weekend

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The United States Grand Prix weekend is poised to be a wet one thanks to the biggest rain event to hit Texas in many months.

That is the summation of Formula 1’s official weather forecaster, UBIMET, which issued its prediction for the coming race weekend at the Circuit of The Americas on Wednesday.

Austin has not been hit by any prolonged showers since August, but that looks set to change this weekend as all three days of on-track action are forecast to be affected by rain.

Here is a breakdown of the weather forecast courtesy of UBIMET:

Friday 23 October – FP1 and FP2

“At the start of the Formula-1-weekend on Friday, heavy, partly thundery rain is expected throughout the day in Greater Austin.

“‘During both sessions, Practice 1 and Practice 2, the racers will see quite damp and wet conditions on the track’, predicts Formula 1 Chief Meteorologist Steffen Dietz.

“Due to the compact clouds and the rain, temperatures won’t change too much during the day. After 22 degrees in the morning they will rise up to 25 degrees in the afternoon.

Saturday 24 October – FP3 and Qualifying

“On Saturday, a strong frontal system will arrive in Austin and cater for very unsettled weather. Overcast skies and partly heavy rain with high precipitation rates will affect the track, particularly before noon.

“‘During the afternoon some further, but weaker showers are still expected, so the starting grid could easily be jumbled by the rain too,’ says Dietz.

“Again, a maximum value of 24 degrees is reached in the afternoon.”

Sunday 25 October – Race

“Sunday will see again abundant clouds with probably some isolated showers. However, their intensity should not be comparable to the amounts of the two previous days at all.

“In any case, the race could see one of these showers hitting the track. Temperatures will slightly drop after the frontal passage, reaching highs of 22 degrees at most.

“The moderate-to-fresh northerly winds will lead to not-so-comfortable conditions for the spectators.”

The US GP at COTA has only been affected by adverse weather conditions once in its previous three editions, when fog caused the beginning of FP1 for the 2013 race to be delayed as the medical helicopter could not take off.

There have been numerous occasions where rain has struck during the US GP before. Here’s three of them for your viewing pleasure:

Michael Schumacher scored a crucial win in wet conditions during the 2003 race:

Gilles Villeneuve won a highly wet 1979 race at Watkins Glen:

James Hunt won in the wet at Watkins Glen in 1977:

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”