The weather could be key in the development of the 2022 F1 Japanese Grand Prix race, and it is expected that the rain will make an appearance on Sunday, although it is not very clear with what intensity or at what time. The traffic lights are scheduled to go out at 15:00 local time in Suzuka , in the European morning and the Latin American dawn, and all the drivers are very attentive to the sky.
Some want a repeat of last week’s scenario in Singapore, where a huge downpour caused the date night dispute to have some chaos early on with wet asphalt, but others are against that thinking and want a try much quieter.
In the case of the favorites, they do not clearly indicate what their choice is, either because Max Verstappen is almost tied for his second world title or because they think they have a competitive single-seater with which to fight in all kinds of conditions.
“It will be interesting to see the time,” said the reigning world champion and leader of the standings, as well as being fastest on Saturday. “Some say it’s going to be dry, some say it’s going to rain at some point in the race. We’ll have to see what happens with that, but I’m pretty sure we’ve got a good car, I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
The Ferrari duo, who are just behind the Red Bull driver, do not make assumptions about the weather either and only think about making the best possible performance, as Charles Leclerc acknowledged: “We have a very limited amount of data for the race, so that’s always a challenge, but the feeling was good with the car.”
“Let’s wait and see the conditions, it looks like it’s going to rain a bit at some point in the race, so it should be fun,” explained the Monegasque, much in line with what his Prancing Horse partner said.
“I think the weather tomorrow is going to play an important role,” said Carlos Sainz. “The rain is going to come, we don’t know if it’s at two, three or four, which is after the race. I think a lot of things can happen tomorrow, there’s a great opportunity to start third.”
“We’ve managed to save a set of softs in case we need it. So yeah, we’re in a good position to fight with Max [Verstappen] tomorrow,” the Spaniard commented just after qualifying at Suzuka.
Others in the middle zone, like Sebastian Vettel, don’t want surprises with the rain either: “I don’t care. We’ll see what we get tomorrow.” The same is true of Esteban Ocon, who was fifth in his Alpine: “It doesn’t matter. I think we’ll probably have both conditions.”
However, the Mercedes have reasons why they don’t want the water, as without using DRS they could find themselves stuck in traffic from sixth and eighth from Lewis Hamilton and George Russell respectively.
“It’s not going to be great with our car and no DRS! I think Red Bull is still quicker without DRS down the straight than we are when we have the DRS open, but we’ll be quick in the corners,” said the seven-time champion. “I think rain always opens up more opportunities, and it might not be the most exciting race if it’s dry, at least not for us.”
As for the other Briton in the star team, Russell commented: “To be honest when it rains there is no DRS, and if we don’t have DRS we are not going to be able to overtake anyone, but I think tire wear in the wet It was quite high yesterday. Who knows what the race will bring.”
However, he acknowledged that the wet asphalt could open up the possibilities: “I think there will be, but there can also be races where even with a lot of rain, it can be quite boring, not many things happen. That was seen in Singapore to a certain extent “.
Although there is a pilot who wants with all his strength that the rain makes an appearance in Japan, Fernando Alonso, who prefers a Sunday spent in water in his A522: “I think that in wet conditions we are a little more competitive than in dry conditions, so maybe it’s better, but we’ll see.”
“We are likely to have mixed wet and dry conditions in the middle of the race, whatever it is, it will be better and more chaotic because the people ahead of us are fighting for the championship so they can’t take too many risks. We yes we can, so it will be better”, sentenced the man from Oviedo.
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