Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix has been delayed as storms continue to intensify in the Austin area.
Having managed to get FP3 underway on time, despite the circuit being closed to spectators for safety reasons, qualifying was always tipped to be disrupted due to torrid weather sweeping across the Texas state.
Indeed, with rain worsening in the last hour and the wind now picking up around the Circuit of the Americas, the FIA originally confirmed qualifying will not get underway until 13.30 local time at the very earliest. Four further delays have now put this back to 15.30, more than two hours after it was due to start.
With two storm fronts sweeping across Texas and the effects of Hurricane Patricia – which battered Mexico overnight – also being felt in the area, severe flash flood warnings have been issued across Texas and are set to remain in place until Sunday morning.
Should qualifying be cancelled, the FIA has the option to run it on Sunday morning, though weather isn't expected to improve until late morning. Despite this, organisers are confident the race can get underway should conditions ease as anticipate.
As such, the grid could be determined by finishing positions of FP3, which would mean Lewis Hamilton starts on pole, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz. Sebastian Vettel was second quickest in FP3, but would be forced to serve a grid penalty for an engine change.