Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix will resume at 11am on Sunday morning (midnight UK time) after torrential rain meant only Q1 was able to take place. Nico Rosberg set the quickest time in the tricky conditions which greeted the drivers for Q1 but that was the last of the action as the rain intensified and the daylight faded.
Q1 had already been delayed by twenty minutes and the drivers were scrambling for grip from the get-go. Lewis Hamilton was fortunate to avoid being beached after backing into the wall at turn two but nowhere near as lucky as Felipe Massa who ploughed into the tyre barrier at turn twelve, escaping with no more than front wing damage.
Conditions were changing so rapidly that Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta dived in for intermediates six minutes from time but the tarmac was still slippery enough to send Charles Pic and Esteban Gutierrez into session-ending accidents. Nico Rosberg’s 1:43.380 had put him fastest from Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez with the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel fifth and seventh. Both drivers are unlikely to be too disappointed by the postponement as Sunday qualifying gives them a chance to unleash their prodigious pace in the dry.
The subsequent yellow flags left Pastor Maldonado stranded in seventeenth with Gutierrez joining him in the drop zone. The Marussias and Caterhams were also knocked out with Jules Bianchi winning the mini-race at the back of the grid. He will start nineteenth with teammate Max Chilton alongside while the Caterhams of Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic make up the back row.
|2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix|
|Qualifying Classification (Q1) – Q2 will start at 11:00am local time on Sunday)|
|3||Romain Grosjean||Lotus Renault||+0.904||10|
|4||Sergio Perez||McLaren Mercedes||+0.920||10|
|5||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault||+1.092||10|
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault||+1.277||11|
|8||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes||+1.308||10|
|9||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR Ferrari||+1.491||10|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Lotus Renault||+2.165||11|
|12||Paul Di Resta||Force India Mercedes||+2.221||10|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Sauber Ferrari||+2.550||10|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||STR Ferrari||+3.070||10|
|15||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault||+3.948||10|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+3.950||10|
|Eliminated In Q1 (P16: SUT – 1:47.330)|
|17||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault||1:47.614||11|
|18||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber Ferrari||1:47.776||10|
|19||Jules Bianchi||Marussia Cosworth||1:48.147||11|
|20||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth||1:48.909||11|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault||1:49.519||11|
|Q1 107% Time: 1:50.616|
|22||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault||1:50.626||10|