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Teams Gear Up for Forecasted First Wet Race

Formula E teams are preparing for the first ever wet Formula E race tomorrow…

Photo: Envision Virgin Racing

Teams are preparing for the strong likelihood of Formula E’s first ever wet race at the Hong Kong E-Prix tomorrow with track conditions expected to be treacherous.

A band of significant rainfall is currently forecast for the Hong Kong harborside street circuit during the race which is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. local time on Sunday.

The most recent local forecast details a 90 percent chance of rain between 12-5 p.m. when both the qualifying and race is scheduled.

The nature of the Hong Kong track with significant portions of it covered with painted road signs could turn the race in to a lottery, according to some drivers.

Drivers tested the grip levels in the shakedown session which was conducted on a fully wet track.

“I think it will be extremely tough depending on how much water we have,” Daniel Abt told e-racing365.

“If it rains like some of the bursts [on Friday] then it will be close to being impossible to stay in one piece.

“I hope it will be light rain because otherwise we will see a lot of shunts and stoppages. Even in the qualifying groups it will be a lottery because it could be wet and dry or vice versa, so it will be hard to predict too much.”

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team principal Allan McNish agreed with Abt regarding the challenging conditions which are likely to be faced by drivers on Sunday.

“The painted lines and the fact there is different tarmac around the circuit will make some of the track really slippery and especially on an adverse camber section it will be treacherous,” McNish told e-racing365.

“But the good thing here is that the concrete blocks used have the holes in where the fork lift trucks manoeuvre them. They give some decent drainage access.”

Aspects of the packed timetable, which also includes the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, could be subject to alterations should rainfall render the track surface unsuitable for action.

A similar scenario played out at the season-opening Ad Diriyah E-Prix when the second Free Practice session was cancelled and a modified qualifying session was scheduled.

With light beginning to fade just after 6 p.m. local time, organizers will have limited scope should delays occur because of poor weather.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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