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United States GP qualifying rained off until Sunday

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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…

Five things to watch for in Bommarito Auto Group 500 at Gateway

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There have been five different winners in the last five weeks of the NTT IndyCar season and driver that kicked off that streak in Elkhart Lake is in desperate need of a victory to help close the points gap to the leader. After being involved in the Lap 1 accident at Pocono Raceway last week, Alexander Rossi sits 35 points behind Josef Newgarden. Rossi’s two victories this season have come on road courses.

This week’s Bommarito Auto Group 500 the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is the third race on this track since IndyCar first revisited it in 2017. Newgarden took the checkers in 2017; Will Power grabbed the glory last year. Gateway also hosted races from 2001-2003.

Here are some of the storylines to watch this Sunday:

  1. For most of the drivers in the field, this will mark only their third time to race at Gateway, but two drivers were around in 2003 when IndyCar visited this track previously. Scott Dixon finished 15th in that race. He found the handle when Indy returned in 2017 to finish second and then third last year. Tony Kanaan was second in 2003; unfortunately he went the other direction and has not scored a top-10 at Gateway since.
  2. If one is looking for perfection on this track type, Simon Pagenaud is the only driver to sweep the top 10 on ovals in the past two years. In his last 10 starts on them, he has garnered an average finish of 5.2; his last five attempts have been sixth or better including a win in this year’s Indy 500. Pagenaud finished third at Gateway in 2017 and was fourth last year.
  3. The top two drivers in the points standings should also challenge for a top-five this week. Rossi was perfect alongside Pagenaud on ovals until his accident last week at Pocono with a sweep of the top 10 and seven top-fives in his last nine races. Newgarden also has nine top-10s and a worst of 13th on ovals in the past two years.
  4. Don’t count Dixon out of the points battle yet. While he currently sits 52 points out of first, Dixon is the hottest driver on the circuit with a current streak of five top-fives to his credit including his victory at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago. His oval record is a little spottier with two runner-up finishes and two 17th-place finishes in the last four races.
  5. Last week’s first-lap carnage ended Rossi’s top-10 streak at seven, but one other driver was able to sneak through and extend his. Graham Rahal will vie for his ninth consecutive top-10 this week, but that success is questionable in light of his Gateway record. Rahal finished 12th in 2017 and was barely able to crack the top 10 in 10th last year.

See More: IndyCar championship contenders seeing fortunes rise and drop

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