Lewis paid tribute to the dedication of the fans

The on-track action was limited to just a handful of laps, with running suspended for the majority of FP1 and the entirety of FP2 due to poor visibility rendering the medical helicopter unable to fly.

Lewis, who didn’t even get the chance to set a timed lap across the day, paid tribute to the dedication of the fans who sat through the worst of the weather to see their racing heroes.

The triple World Champion got closer to the track in FP2 than most when he went to visit those who toughed it out in the main grandstand, throwing caps to the crowd and collecting a flag in the process – a nice touch to a pretty miserable afternoon!

“The track was absolutely fine and we could have run all day today with no issue if it weren’t for the clouds,” he said.

“It’s not good for the fans watching on TV and even worse for all those people in the stands, who have paid money to come out here from the city or even from other countries.

“They’ve barely seen a car on track today, which must be tough for them. We need to work together with the FIA and FOM to find a solution or an alternative plan of some kind when we have circumstances like this in the future.”

Valtteri echoed Lewis in praising the fans and promised to put a real show on for them come Qualifying.

“I’m really sorry for the fans, first of all,” he said. “All the people came to see us in practice today but didn’t see any running apart from a couple of laps in FP1, which is a shame.

“I promise we’ll do all we can to make it exciting in Qualifying for them tomorrow and especially on race day. A big thank you to all those loyal fans for their support.”

“Dry conditions will be the question mark at this point, so hopefully we get some dry running in FP3 tomorrow morning.”

The Silver Arrows will – if the weather behaves – be back on track on Saturday morning for FP3, before going all out for Qualifying in Shanghai a few hours later. After a Friday cooped up in the garage, Valtteri and Lewis are going to want to stretch those legs!