Kamui Kobayashi was disappointed qualifying for his home race was postponed today, although he insisted it was the right decision given the consistently heavy rain.
Officials eventually elected to move qualifying for this weekend's F1 2010 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka to Sunday morning after two half-hour delays.
“I feel so sorry for the spectators in the grandstands. All the F1 supporters were very much looking forward to the weekend, and now they have hardly seen a car today and got terribly wet,” said the local super star.
“But safety comes first, that is clear. We cannot drive in these conditions. We have to wait for better weather.”
Kobayashi's Sauber team-mate, Nick Heidfeld concurred that there was no choice but to defer qualifying until 10 am tomorrow morning [2am UK time].
“Aquaplaning with a F1 car is basically the same as with any other car – you become a passenger,” Heidfeld explained. “We could go with a higher ride height in order to avoid aquaplaning, which happens because of the car's floor, but when you have a certain amount of water on the track the tyres are floating as they can't push the water aside.
“Another big safety issue is the visibility in the spray. If you have 24 cars on the track in Q1 and one spins no driver would have the chance to see it and avoid crashing into it.”
Meanwhile, Hispania's Sakon Yamamoto – the other local driver – and Bruno Senna both thanked the fans for their support.
“I want to thank the spectators who were patient and stayed until the final decision had been made. They were waiting in the rain for the cars to drive, which was not possible unfortunately,” Yamamoto stated. “We are looking forward to tomorrow now and it is going to be exciting with qualifying and race within a few hours.”
Senna added: “As expected, it was raining a lot and the rain even got heavier during the day. Tomorrow we will have a busy day, with the qualifying session and race under what it looks like dry conditions.
"The spectators showed a great support as they stayed until the very end even when it was raining a lot.”