Williams F1 was happy to find a silver lining in the heavy clouds that hung over Shanghai on Friday.
All teams got a total of just over twenty minutes of track time in FP1 before practice was abandoned for the day over safety concerns. But Williams said that even such a short spell on the damp track had been a huge help to them.
"It’s been a frustrating day for everyone," said Williams; chief technical officer Paddy Lowe. "Probably more so for other teams, because we were able to make the best of the opportunity."
In particular, Lowe felt that the brief running time had benefited the team's new rookie driver Lance Stroll.
"The small amount of running we did on the full wets in FP1, and the sets of laps on the intermediates, were actually invaluable as we learnt how the car behaves in wet conditions and on wet tyres.
"We didn’t run in the wet in Barcelona during the pre-season tests so we had never driven the car in the wet. It was particularly good for Lance, who has never driven any Formula 1 car in the wet.
"The pace was encouraging for the car but also for Lance, who was able to drive with confidence in those conditions."
The session eventually had to be red flagged, as the medical helicopter was unable to operate in the low visibility conditions. The whole of FP2 was also lost to the poor conditions.
"You can’t change the weather," said Stroll. "It is what it is.
"I would have liked to have run a bit more today," he added. "The conditions were not fully wet, so I was on intermediates. As the track was drying, it was even becoming a bit too dry for them.
"I only did seven laps, so there is still a lot to do."