Less than 10 minutes. That’s how much meaningful running the teams got in before rain set in at the Paul Ricard circuit on Saturday afternoon. Just 15 drivers set a lap team – none of them particularly representative – with the fastest coming from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz was over 1.2s behind the Finn in second, followed by Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
With further rain expected for both qualifying and race, most teams chose to conserve their wet-weather tyre allocation and kept their cars in the garage.
Only in the final 10 minutes did a handful of drivers venture out in the very wet conditions: Alonso and McLaren team mate Stoffel Vandoorne, the Williams of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, the Toro Rossos of Brendon Hartley nd Pierre Gasly, and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.
If the weather stays like this, qualifying could be a real lottery!