Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix has been postponed until Sunday morning after torrential rain prevented the session from starting on Saturday afternoon.
Following a wet practice session that went ahead as planned at 10am CT, rain intensified at the Circuit of The Americas in the two-hour gap ahead of qualifying’s original start time of 1pm CT (2pm ET).
FIA race director Charlie Whiting ventured out onto the track in the safety car to assess conditions before deciding to delay qualifying, initially by 30 minutes.
After delaying the start of the session five times in a bid to allow for a break in the weather, race control eventually opted to postpone qualifying until Sunday morning.
The broadcast of qualifying will be at 10 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. CT and local time LIVE on CNBC, and also available via NBC Sports Live Extra.
United States Grand Prix Qualifying – Rolling Updates
1340 ET – FIA confirms that qualifying is delayed by 30 minutes until 1430 ET (1330 CT), with Whiting saying that a break in the weather may come about in an hour.
It is thought that there could be a window to allow Q1 to take place, but running beyond that is uncertain.
1400 ET – FIA communications chief Matteo Bonciani spoke to NBCSN’s Will Buxton with an update on the weather, saying: “We’re trying to see if we can go ahead on qualifying. Between us, we want to have a qualifying, but it could be better later.
“Or maybe we postpone it a little bit more… We will see if we can run qualy, otherwise we will run tomorrow.”
1413 ET – Still no further updates… but Jenson Button may have just won Twitter today.
1420 ET – Race control confirms that qualifying has been delayed by a further 30 minutes, making the new planned start time 1500 ET (1400 CT).
1448 ET – No further updates. Qualifying looks increasingly likely to be postponed until tomorrow.
1450 ET – Qualifying delayed by another 30 minutes. Planned start is now 1530 ET. Whiting is heading out in the safety car once again to assess conditions.
1516 ET – Word in the paddock is that Whiting is unwilling to call it a day until absolutely necessary, meaning that we could be waiting another couple of hours to see if we’re going to get running in Austin.
In better news, the marshals and photographers have been recovered by buses to give them a chance to get dry and warm – so no chance of a resumption anytime soon.
The teams are, thankfully, trying to make the best of the situation.
1522 ET – Another 30 minute delay, theoretical (but unlikely) start time of 1600 ET.
1555 ET – 30 more minutes. New start time 1630 ET. For those looking to tune in to qualifying, watch live now via Live Extra – stream it here.
1616 ET – Latest update from race control: “If there is no clear sign of a break in the weather conditions at 1600 [CT, 1700 ET], qualifying will be postponed until 0900 on Sunday morning.”
1700 ET – Finally, race control confirms that qualifying has been postponed until 9am CT on Sunday. Time to go and dry off…