With Hurricane Patricia looming around Central America, the qualifying session of the USA Grand Prix was postponed to Sunday noon. The state of Texas had already been affected by 20 inches heavy rainfall, causing disruption to traffic and railway systems. Waterlogging at the Circuit of the Americas had deemed the racetrack unusable for the competition. Race stewards are still pondering about the schedule of the race with storms the potential of 200km/hr. about to strike Texas soon.
Meanwhile, Nico Rosberg came out on top of a super-wet practice day at Elroy, Texas. He finished 1.235 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, whose team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished 3rd 0.4 seconds behind him. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton finished 5th, he only needs to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 9 points and Nico Rosberg by 2 points to clinch his 3rd title. Vettel will not be able to challenge Hamilton, as both the Ferrari cars were given 10-place grid penalties for using their fifth engine this season.
Similar to Ferrari, Red Bull and their junior team Toro Rosso, are set to feature new Renault engines, but both teams will be hit with grid penalties on race-day, as they too have already exceeded their engine allocation. The new Internal Combustion Engine is supposed to provide increased power and efficiency to the cars. Although this provides some temporary respite to Red Bull, this does not sort out their future in Formula One, as they have not confirmed Renault as their engine partner for the 2016 season. Team Principal Christian Horner remains adamant regarding Red Bull’s run in the competition.
On October 22nd, Horner said, “Quitting F1 for me is not an option – I am working very hard to make sure the team is on the grid and competitive”. He also that although withdrawal from F1 was an option for Team Owner Dietrich Mateschitz, but the Austrian billionaire was still “committed to finding a solution”. Rumours have emerged Red Bull have discussing with the Volkswagen group for a potential partnership in Formula One, it is yet to be confirmed whether this discussion was done with VW aiming to fill and engine supplier’s role.