Dubai: Qualifying for the F1 Powerboating Grand Prix of France was pushed to later on Saturday after race organisers decided prevailing weather conditions in Evian were a deterrent for the safety of the teams at the venue.
This is the second instance this season that weather has played a role in race proceedings following the complete cancellation of the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, the opening round of the UIM F1H2O in Dammam, at the end of March this year.
On Saturday, the 19 drivers representing the nine teams were all set for the Rebellion Official Qualifying for the Grand Prix of France when strong gusts of that started off earlier in the noon forced organisers to push it forward for a 6 pm start (8 pm UAE).
However, when the winds showed no signs of slowing down, race organisers had no option but to alter the qualifying session while also keeping open the possibility of conducting a combined qualifying for F1 and F4 boats to determine pole positions for Sunday’s races.
“Due to the rough water conditions that have materialised following this morning’s thunderstorm, Rebellion Official Qualifying which was due to start at 4.20pm (6.20pm) has been postponed until 6pm (8 pm UAE), when race officials will take make a final decision based on the conditions,” read a brief statement from organisers.
Earlier, in Saturday morning’s first free practice, Lac Leman served up the expected stern test for drivers with CTIC F1 Shenzhen China’s Peter Morin topping the time sheets through a best lap of 55.96 seconds around the 2.08km circuit.
The calm conditions of the previous two days ceded to stronger winds and rough water with the session yellow flagged several times and the majority of drivers not pushing until near the end of the 60-minute sessions as conditions eased slightly.
Team Abu Dhabi’s defending world champion Shaun Torrente leads the overall standings with 20 points after finishing clear of teammate Thani Al Qamzi (15 points) at the Grand Prix of Portugal earlier this summer. Jonas Andersson is in third with 12 points, while Peter Morin is in fourth with nine and Marit Stromoy in fifth with seven points.