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Qualifying Delayed Until Sunday Morning Due To Rain In Australia
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  16 Mar 2013   |  9:24 am GMT  |  227 comments

The decisive parts of Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix has been postponed until tomorrow morning at 11am Melbourne time (midnight UK time) after heavy rain caused major delays and brought the session to an end following the first phase of qualifying.

It’s an unusual move by the race stewards, but not unprecedented. Qualifying was delayed in the same way at Suzuka twice in the last decade, the last time in 2010. THe forecast is for partly cloudy, and temperatures of 18 degrees.

Having already been delayed by twenty minutes, Q1 got underway in very wet conditions and claimed a number of victims before the session was over, which ended with Nico Rosberg as the pace setter. Both Caterhams and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari lost a front wing, while Lewis Hamilton slid into the barriers but recovered.

The remainder of qualifying will now be run at 11:00am local time on Sunday morning, with the race beginning at 5:00pm.

Q1 saw all the cars take the extreme wet tyre initially, with the Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg setting the first competitive times. However, Hamilton hit troubles at the beginning of his second lap when he spun at the exit of Turn 1 and damaged his rear wing. The Briton was able to continue and make his way in to tomorrow’s second phase.

There was a number of cars that took an excursion in to the Melbourne park, including Felipe Massa who suffered a fairly heavy collision with a barrier. Luckily for him the impact was directly frontal and meant that he only lost a front-wing and did not suffer any further suspension damage.

At the halfway point of Q1 the rain began to ease and the track conditions allowed for intermediate tyres. From that point times rapidly fell with the top spot being swapped between Jenson Button and then Fernando Alonso before Rosberg took the top spot in the final moments.

The second session was repeatedly delayed as the heavy rain returned and Charlie Whiting eventually made the decision to delay the remaining sessions until Sunday morning. With the Australian GP having a late start in order to make it European friendly there was insufficient lighting to further delay the session.

The only drivers’ to know where they will be starting the Grand Prix from is those that found themselves in the drop-zone at the climax of Q1. Pastor Maldonado complained that the Williams was ‘undriveable’, and he will begin the race in 17th place.

Behind him is Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, the rookie crashing at the same point as Massa whilst he was on a quicker lap.

The final two rows of the grid are to be filled by the Marussia and Caterham pairings, with Marussia claiming the bragging rights. Both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton were able to bring their cars home safely, whilst the same could not be said for Giedo Van Der Garde and Charles Pic. They each lost a front-wing during the twenty minute session and will start alongside each other on the final row of the grid.

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227 Comments
  1. derschorsch says:

    Need. Dry. Weather.
    Need to know who’s fastest…

    1. Wayne says:

      I know exactly how you feel! Although we probably won’t really know that until Spain anyway!

      I read this morning that McLaren have not ruled out reverting to last year’s car! This is utterly incredible. How many more blunders can this team make under Whitmarsh before the guy get’s swapped out for someone who knows what they are doing? I realise he does not design the car, or bolt it together or perform the pitstops but the buck has to stop with him.

      Last year I spent many an afternoon screaming at the TV because this ‘top team’ simply cannot get it together when it counts. Luckily for my blood pressure, HAM has moved on!

      In the last five/six years this team has, by turns, built awful cars; built decent cars and then destroyed their chances through operational errors; built decidedly average cars; forever alienated the best driver in the world (ALO); been embroiled in the sports worst every case of IP theft and lieing (Ferrari-gate); lost the fastest driver in the world (HAM) and now they have lost their title sponsor and put a pay driver (Perez-Telmex) in next to Jenson.

      They glibly and arrogantly announce that their priority is winning races not championships which alienates all the best drivers who are only interested in championships!

      McLaren need to worry a little less about their dull road car and re-focus on racing!

      Not that i’m too bothered anymore now that I don’t have to watch them letting HAM down year after year.

      1. Cliff says:

        McLaren said this morning on TV that they were not looking to return to last years car. I suspect that you are bothered (even if its just because you want a competitive and exciting F1) about their plight to have taken time to submit your post.

      2. Wayne says:

        Yes, I Suppose you’re right – I am bothered because 1) they are a British team and B) the more team fulfilling their potential the better the racing. McLAren are so frustrating because they simply have no excuse for continuing to under-deliver. They have had time to learn………..Boy have they had time!

    2. Formula Zero says:

      If it was a fully sunny & dry racing, Red Bull is the fastest. This is purely based on FP1 & FP2 as well as this year’s regulation. As we all know already rules haven’t changed much. Ferrari dominated the sport with MS when the rules did not change much for 4/5 years straight. Red Bull is basically in the same situation as Ferrari. Here’s my fastest team so far, “Red Bull for dry race” & “Mercedes for wet race”.

    3. Bring Back Murray says:

      Hamilton

  2. Marian says:

    Why do they have wet tires if they never can use them??It,s so annoying!!!

    1. Wayne says:

      Laughable isn’t it!

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      From the TV pics it was beginning to look like Canada 2011. I know Cahrlie’s usually too scared to go anywhere near the limit but I think it went over it today anyway.

      1. McHarg123 says:

        Believe me. I was there yesterday and the rain was torrential. Turn 15 was a lake. And light was becoming a problem.

      2. JC says:

        Torrential? It was simply rain. Everyday, non-spectacular rain. Mostly mild, at times heavy, but never torrential. Most of the time it was so non-torrential that I even had my iPad out in it so that I could watch live timing.

    3. Bring Back Murray says:

      That’s a good point. Someone below was saying about monsoon tyres but aren’t the full wets they have now the same thing as the old monsoon tyres?

      1. RobertS says:

        i thought that, didn’t they have intermediate, wet and then monsoon??

    4. BitterCocks says:

      +1

    5. Simmo says:

      For in the wet weather

    6. Luke Clements says:

      James,

      Sorry to be crude, but when was the last time a driver died in the wet in F1 due to the rain? And why so paranoid about rain?

      It’s so silly that the supposed “best” drivers and cars in the world run like a bunch of teenage netballers when the rain comes. Get out there and race, isn’t that why we have such wonderful track safety, car safety and medical safety in F1? The poor medics in F1 have the most boring job in the world.

    7. Tim says:

      You are right, also the throttle works both ways. If it’s too wet to drive flat out then lift off.

  3. Mark J says:

    I was at the track today. I understand there are safety concerns and my knowledge and understanding of the dangers of running in the wet is limited to my following of the sport track side and on TV. Plus it is a street circuit where the track has inferior drainage to a purpose built facility.

    But for me right now it is confusing. If it that dangerous to run in the wet why are all the teams switching to intermediates half way through the first Q1 Session, when there has been this delay for the track being too wet? Is it because the Inters are that good? Or are the authorities playing it safe now that only when its partially wet its safe to run?

    The other confusing part was the cars going out when it was almost at its worst during the 30min delay.

    Maybe I am just grumpy because I sat in rain all afternoon to see 20mins of qualy…

    1. AlexD says:

      I stopped going to F1 races…..got fed up. Prefer to watch on TV….with Live View, decent commenting….see everything, analyze.

    2. Baghetti says:

      I was not at the track so I cannot judge on the call to delay the racing, but I was really surpised by the time that Gutierrez – after his crash – was staying in the car without any steward or medical staff coming to see if he was allright. Maybe they have a way to check on the driver status through the team radio now, but if not then this was for me much bigger driver safety issue than the rain…

      1. Wild Man says:

        I ws thinking the same thing.

      2. Ed says:

        I think he stayed in there because he didn’t want anyone to see the brown stain on his race suit.

        I did hear him confirm to his team on the radio that he was fine, very quickly after the crash.

    3. Simmo says:

      It started to rain even heavier after Q1, so that the track became even worse. Also, it was going dark, so they didn’t really have a great deal of choice.

      1. Ed says:

        the lack of light is a known problem and has caused issues with the race being run at this time before.

        Let’s face it, if you are a big enough fan to get up on the other side of the world, it doesn’t make much difference if you get up at 3am or 4am…

        Either run the race at a proper local time to allow for delays, or make it a day/night race

    4. MB73 says:

      The things that cause trouble during heavy rainfall are the presure built up under the floor of the car which lifts the car up at high speed, aquaplaning of the tire which will loose you all grip, and visibility due to the spray of water.

      If this mix becomes to bad, it’s simply impossible to drive, because the tire needs to be kept at a certain temperture as well, so you can’t go driving to slowly or to carefull.

      When a dry line appears after some laps, people switch to a less heavier rain tire, the intermediate.

    5. JC says:

      Agreed. I was at the track as well. The rain was mild when quali was delayed and noticeably worse when they finally got on with it! The drivers managed alright when they were sent out. Race control was just being unnecessarily cautious.

  4. Formula Zero says:

    Let me start by saying “thank you” Bernie Ecclestone for working hard to keep the Melbourne Grand Prix over the past few years. Australian Grand Prix organizers have not made any profit from the Grand Prix for a long time. However, we Melbournians love this sporting event just as much as “Melbourne Cup” or “Australian Open Tennis” or “AFL (Aussie Rules Football) grand final. Melbourne truly is the sporting capital in the world. The atmosphere this qualifying morning is as electric as it has ever been leading up to a Grand Prix weekend. And regardless of the profit & loss statement this even does bring huge amount of revenue for the country and advertisement of Melbourne (well deserved one too) as one of the greatest cities in the world.

    Few years ago in 2010 when Ferrari Won the Bahrain grand prix & refueling was taken away from the sport for the first time I personally nearly thought that would be the end of great strategic F1 racing, ultimately F1 was becoming boring. I remember posting a very frustrating article in this blog James, even though I am a life long Ferrari Fan! Then the next race in Melbourne with unpredictable conditions changed the season completely & we ended up witnessing a great season at the end (Ferrai’s strategic error cost Alonso the WDC unfortunately). I personally still would prefer to see the refueling back, multiple tyre brands & certainly no DRS, but still I am pleased that F1 is still entertaining. I will never forget the frustration I had when FIA ruled out refueling for the sake of money saving (teams spent that money elsewhere anyway, particularly amount of tyres that they go through now), but I am happy to say Melbourne Grand Prix is not just about racing, it is also about the overall weekend all round.

    In 2013, the weekend could not have started any better James. Firstly, I thank the Grand Prix organizers for arranging the best pre race show I have ever seen, the inaugural Australian Grand Prix breakfast. What an event James! I hope we get to have it every year. Thank you to One HD team for arranging such an event. I must also thank you James for participating on the show. It was amazing to see the teams, drivers & managers & great current F1 personalities. Your interview with Christian Horner was my favorite of the lot. Especially when you started by asking, “Christian, one thing every Australian wants to know, why is Vettel’s car always faster than Webber’s?” Your involvement throughout the weekend on the whole day has been truly amazing. I don’t have the facility at home to watch the every pre race show throughout the season. So, for me the breakfast show is the best way to start the weekend. As far racing goes, my favorite ones are Monza, Spa & Monaco (just because it’s different). However, I wouldn’t swap the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne with any other race as the inaugural Grand Prix. Season would not be the same without having Melbourne as the 1st race of the year. I’d bet anything to say that we spectators get our money’s worth more on this Grand Prix than any other one regardless of we are on track or watching it on TV.

    Let’s talk about qualifying now, “there is nothing much to talk about!” Apart from, can’t wait to see Mercedes fighting for the win alongside all the other big names. Very impressed by Merc’s performance. In my last post I tipped Rosberg over Hamilton. So, again I am backing Rosberg to finish ahead of Hamilton regardless of who wins the race or qualifies on pole.

    One question for you though James, how many sets of wet & intermediate tyres can each team have for the entire weekend including practice, quali & the race?

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for that. I agree the GP Breakfast event was spectacular – that’s the way to do a fan engagement piece.

      I think everyone in F1 had their eyes opened by it and next year you will see it even bigger and better.

    2. vivek says:

      There are 4 sets of inters and 3 sets of full wets for the whole weekend

    3. Matthew Cheshire says:

      Dear Mr Zero/Walker,

      I really have to disagree with several points here.

      Bernie will have been working hard to maintain his profit out of Melbourne, rather than working for it. The organisers could have made a profit if he actually gave some of it back!

      Melbourne can’t really hold an (Olympic) flame to London as the worlds greatest sporting city now. Wimbledon, Wembley and Premier League teams vs Aus open, MCG and AFL? Arsenal by itself would have more global fans than the entire AFL.

      The Grand Prix in Melbourne needs major improvements, instead of shameless self congratulation. An F1 track with no fast corners? The atmosphere has never equalled Adelaide – Will Melbourne have the entire city behind it and a street party the width of its CBD? It can never eclipse the 1986 GP because it will never be the decider. Being the start of the season is as much a problem as a highlight.

      Albert Park is nowhere near the top of the list of great F1 tracks and they aren’t even trying to fix it.

      Self Adulation is not effective advertising. Running a great race is. Melbourne needs to put its effort where it counts.

      1. Wild Man says:

        No F1 race in London.

      2. William Benson says:

        Completely agree. Having been to GPs at both Adelaide and Melbourne (and others), Melb will never achieve the buzz that Adelaide had around the race (both at the track and in the city). My experience in Melbourne has been that the city as a whole does not appreciate the event & are complacent. “Sporting capital” just means the city has too many sporting events & people generally don’t get excited about them. How many years since we had the Adelaide GP and people still say Melbourne will never compare? Maybe one day Melb GP organizers will lift their game, but I won’t hold my breath.

    4. Brad says:

      “Christian, one thing every Australian wants to know, why is Vettel’s car always faster than Webber’s?” What was his reply, especially when they’re given equal equipment…

      1. James Allen says:

        It was a but of fun, he handled it well.

    5. Seán Craddock says:

      Could I just quickly ask what the GP Breakfast was? Could it be something that other GP events could do?

      1. James Allen says:

        It was a huge event in a ballroom in Crown Hotel in Melbourne with 1,000 fans and guests having breakfast with a stage show mixing F1, light entertainment, music, comedy and a succession of F1 drivers and team bosses whom I interviewed. Ran 8am to 11am

        It could be done elsewhere but you need the late start to track action to pull it off eg Singapore

      2. richie675 says:

        or maybe the day before?!

      3. Simon Donald says:

        I have to give kudos to Channel Ten here is Australia. Over the last few years, they have been in a lot of trouble here with being the weakest of the three main free-to-air commercial channels after 7 and Nine. Plus a vocal few have criticized them about their “poor” coverage, with reporters who aren’t knowledgable, etc… I don’t subscribe to this. I think their general coverage is excellent. Between One HD (their sports and entertainment channel) and Ten itself, we get every quali and race free, live and with the Sky commentary. That’s not something most European countries, North America and New Zealand can say. We have an expert panel (who admittedly think Ricciardo is the second coming already), we have fantastic reporters like James who do pieces for us, even the non-motorsports general TV reporters and interviewers this weekend have been well imformed. Do you think the average Sky Sports reporter would know that Charlie Whiting was Nelson Piquets chief mechanic at Brabham for his 1981 and 1983 world titles?

        This weekend obviously being the Australian Grand Prix, their coverage has been second to none. We had extended Friday coverage of practice, yesterday we had the F1 Breakfast James participated in starting at 8am and we had coverage in HD right through to the end of the qualifying saga. Today we have coverage from 10am until 7.30pm or the end of the race which ever is later. I don’t ever remember ITV or the BBC doing this for Formula 1 when I was living in the UK! Well done Channel Ten! Long may you keep the rights in Australia out of Fox Sports dirty little hands!!

      4. James Allen says:

        I agree, it was fantastic and I’m very proud to have been part of it.

        Been busy with that and hosting BBC 5 Live coverage too!

  5. wes says:

    James,

    How bad was damage to hamiltons car? GaryAnderson mentioned possible suspension damage?

  6. He do says:

    Great to see the cars on track at last! They all look so good – love the Ferrari black & white under the red. Love the touch of purple on the RBs and all the rest look good too – especially the Saubers. The nose job helps too!
    PS what’s with the extra scoop behind the Ferrari’s air box – does it feed into a passive DRS?

    1. KRB says:

      I like the purple on RBR’s car, but I must say that the purple bit on the drivers’ uniforms accentuates the epaulettes (which are quite big relative to others), and from the back it makes them look like some sort of medieval prince costume.

      There’s a lot of those intakes behind the driver’s head … the RB9′s is pretty large, the Ferrari’s a bit less, and the Merc’s even smaller.

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      More likely for oil cooling, it’s what McLaren used it for a couple years ago.

  7. Val from montreal says:

    Text message to Michael S. from Ross :

    Look , I know we screwed up by hiring Lewis but
    can you consider coming back ? PLEASE ?

    1. Grant says:

      You obviously have not seen f1 for the last 3 years

      1. quattro says:

        Or maybe he has seen all three seasons.
        HAMs position in final standings for the three latest seasons – when he have had fastest or 2nd fastest package each season:

        2010 – 4th
        2011 – 5th
        2012 – 4th

        SCH at least had a bad car all three seasons…

    2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Well remembering sometimes Michael didn’t make it to Q2, Ross must be quite happy.

    3. Equin0x says:

      Ha nice one, they’ve hired a real overrated driver to replace an legend, Schumacher from 1995-2002 would wipe the floor with Hamilton and maybe even Vettel or Alonso.

      1. Colombia Concalvez says:

        You mean Schumacher who needed No1 status just like Alonso and Vettel ? or the Schumacher that had Bridgestone tires made for him only ?. The only overrated is Schumacher, with all his experience still getting owned haha

      2. Simon Donald says:

        Shame that the Schumacher from 1995 to 2002 stopped existing, hmmm….11 years ago! Schumacher is gone kids get used to it!!

      3. alastair emmerson says:

        How is he overrated?

    4. I will says:

      Tasteless. Try another one if you can.

    5. Sebee says:

      To: Ross
      From: Michael

      Ross,

      O.K.
      50M € one year.
      Need to know by end of GP.

      Cheeri-o
      MS 7/91

      1. KRB says:

        To: Mikey
        From: Ross

        Nevermind.

    6. Joel says:

      Joke on you friend. Hope you saw the qualifying. MS would be very happy to be not paired with Hamilton. While Rosberg destroyed M.Schumacher during the last 3 years, Lewis on his 1st drive with Merc, is already unraveling Rosberg. Perhaps, we who view this objectively – this is not a surprise.

    7. Ken says:

      Merc GP was a real gentleman to honor Schumi’s 3 year contract. Had the name not been Schumacher he would had been kicked outlong bofore. They won’t want to have him back, even for FREE.

  8. Kevin Green says:

    This is clearly what Mclaren need they will be praying for rain tomorrow for sure.

    1. Formula Zero says:

      It will help them, yes maybe. What’s the happen to rest of the year? Everyone’s on Zero point now. I can’t believe McLaren changed the car so much from last year knowing that the rules did not change much & they had the fastest car anyway. All they had to do is to use the winter to overcome reliability issue & make the cars more suited to the tyres and faster. Instead they created a car that has to rely on other’s misfortune. I truly believe that McLaren had the best foundation for this season. They should’ve been fighting race wins from the first race. Well, i am not a McLaren fan. But as F1 fan, I hate to see great teams like McLaren can’t be in the mix. No disrespect to the current driver lineup, but they need a Fernando Alonso to join McLaren this year to save face. Unfortunately, they don’t have that. Maybe best to focus on next year after 3/4 races.

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Correction they backed the wrong driver at the wrong time, Alonso should never have been in a position where he felt it best he leave. One thing for certain you wont see Alonso in Mclaren overalls again not in Ron Dennnis’s life time at least anyway.

  9. ramsa says:

    some how i felt the kobayshi/hulkenberg lineup would have been better for Suaber…. time will tell…

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      I think the Hulkenber/Gutierrez-Telmex one is better for them. :D

    2. Formula Zero says:

      Well, it would be, even Sauber knows it. Unfortunately, Kobayashi didn’t have the $$$. Anyway, there are strong rumours around the paddock about Sauber selling out sometimes this year. In that case, there might not be a Sauber F1 team soon. Time will tell

    3. favomodo@gmail.com says:

      You mean Frijns/Hulkenberg… ;-)

  10. Dave says:

    Its very frustrating to get up at 5am to watch Qualifying only for it to be postponed but it must be really bad for the fans at the track getting soaked and the drivers and staff hanging around.

    But all I’ve read on the net so far on forums is that F1 is a joke now and “it wasn’t like that in the old days when men were men…” and I cant decide whether I agree or not.

    I cant wait til Q2 and Q3 tonight and I have a feeling Lewis or Rosberg could well be up there.

    Its only because its the first qualifying session of the season in a day or so this will be forgotten.

  11. Mazirian says:

    A weak decision as I see it.

    I have absolutely no wish to see anybody get hurt, but isn’t there a trend here to abort racing in conditions that were previously deemed safe?

    Maybe better rain tyres would be an option? Then again, it seems the full wets are rarely used these days. Race control seem to think the conditions need to be good enough for intermediates to allow racing.

    Is this a trend or is it just me?

    1. Peter says:

      I agree. I don’t want anyone to be hurt either, but I was asking myself if Charlie Whiting has lost his nerve.

    2. KRB says:

      I think it has something to do with the black paint, that was used to paint over some of the white lines. It’s supposed to be adhesive paint, but it seems it led to more slides in the wet.

      That, and as Coulthard said, the fact that teams do not yet have an abundance of parts, and if they kept losing front wings at the rate they were doing, that they might not have any (or not their latest iterations) for next week in Malaysia.

      Still, is this the first time that qualification’s been postponed, having commenced?

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        And don’t forget that it was going to be dark soon so if there was some safty car periods (which there would have been for sure) they would have just run out of time and would have had to postpone anyway! I think the right decisions were made in the interests of safty, availability of spare parts, and continuity of the action, and many other reasons as well.
        PK.

    3. Robert says:

      Each car only has three sets of full wets for the entire weekend. By the time they finish wet quali, to try and run a wet race they would probably not have enough full wet tyres to finish the race safely. Something that they also mentioned on Sky F1 was that the wet tyres add 5mm of needed ride hight to the cars to better help them cope with the water on track – the older cars didn’t have such tight tolerances and were more adaptable to the conditions…so it may not so much be a lack of nerve or over desire for safety, it may be just that the cars are so optimised for performance on dry tracks with high downforce.

    4. Simmo says:

      I have to say, I am halves on this one.

      I am seeing this more of a case of no light and the amount of road markings on this track making things worse.

      Although, as Dave said in comment #10 “it wasn’t like that in the old days when men were men…”, so I suppose in that sense yes, you’re right

      And maybe they could have just allowed the cars to go qualifying without even the initial delay.

  12. Chromatic says:

    Rosberg V Hamilton

    Interesting to see this little duel right at the very start of the new season. Both out together, ahead of everyone else, with Ham leading: but it was Rosberg who was considerably faster and got a better time. This, of course, riled Hamilton and probably contributed to his Schumacher style spin off when he tried too hard.
    Stark contrast. But maybe not absolutely conclusive ??

    1. dean cassady says:

      Chromatic:
      You could be on to something.
      I don;t think anybody has seen Rosberg at the top of his game. Maybe he is emotionally fragile, or something. But just think of it, you get Michael Schumacher parachuted in to your new gig with Mercedes?!? How much worse could it suck?
      Compared to Schumacher, in terms of management of the team, Lewy is a lightweight.
      I’m a big fan of Lewis, but I think it could be very close; many people will go on to say that they KNEW Nico always had it in him; I’m writing it here, now. Nico is going to have his best year now, or never; he must compete point for point with Lewis. Imagine the magnitude of the task?!? But I think he’s going to be able to do it.
      I believe that in race, Mercedes have not got the tire management capability to regularly be on terms with RB or Lotus.
      But this intra-team battle will be one to watch!

      1. Feral says:

        love the start of a season its where you see the drivers in the lower ranks try to put their stamp down to say who really is the number one driver :)

    2. Becken says:

      Yes, maybe not. The diference was huge, maybe something to do with brakes in those low temperatures?

      Hamilton was advised to warm up his brakes by his race eng right before set time in his first lap.

      Incidently, Mark Hughes from autosport said that Lewis was consistently half second faster than Nico on friday, so doesn´t make sense Nico 1,5 scs faster over a lap.

    3. Val from montreal says:

      Last year , not once was Rosberg faster than MSC in any wet qualifying session …

      It only took the first 20 minutes of the season for Rosberg exposing Hollywood ….

      31 million a season , what a waste of mulah .,,

      1. madmax says:

        More than that Schumi thrashed Rosberg in the wet qualifications and was right up in the sharp end in a car Brawn described as rubbish in the wet.(AMuS article today)

        Silverstone wet qualifying Schumacher 3 and Rosberg 13,

        Germany Schumacher 4 and Rosberg 17.

      2. Val from montreal says:

        + 791 ….( wink )

    4. Anon says:

      I’m sure he was up on Rosberg before being held up on his drier fast lap.

    5. Bring Back Murray says:

      Think Hamilton ran a bit wide during that lap. Lets see them matched up when they both have clear laps

    6. Richard says:

      I think you have to consider Rosberg has been driving for Mercedes some time, and that must be some kind of advantage. Hamilton is on a learning curve with Mercedes so he will not be at his best for a few races yet. I’m not sure he was riled just that he was a little unlucky.
      That said I think Nico Rosberg has been a very underrated driver for some time, and I think he will demonstrate he is as fast as anyone on the grid.

    7. Quercus says:

      It’s amazing how some people are able to read so much into such a very little.

      1. K5enny says:

        Dont expect Hamilton to be fastest within that team.

        Remember, Rosberg was able to stay within touching distance of Schumi over the last few years — While Hamilton was benchmarked against Button…..

      2. Peter says:

        If you have to wait for the tiger to jump out from behind the bush before you believe you’re under threat, your dead. If you run at the fist hint, you live — wether a tiger was there or not.

        Guess which one we are all decended from. (Hint: Not the one that wants to “wait and see.”)

        Back to your comment; it’s human nature to make big, sweeping predictions and generalisations based on relatively small amounts of information.

      3. Joel says:

        You are right. A top driver knows when to push and when not to. I have a feeling Nico’s setup is a little more a wet setup, compared to Hamilton’s dry setup.

      4. KRB says:

        Absolutely. It’s a joke. After qualifying I’m half expecting some to chime in and say that Rosberg headed Hamilton in four of the six sessions (FP1-3, Q1-3), showing how overrated Hamilton is. It really is embarrassing.

  13. Jack F1 says:

    Total joke. What have they done to this sport…

    There was hardly any freaking rain anywhere, they were driving on inters in Q1. This is becoming like NASCAR, I predict in 10 years time there won’t be a wet F1 race, they will just cancel the whole event.

    If today was not safe/possible to drive on, how did everyone manage to set laptimes…Also how is it possible to drive in races such as Fuji 07, Nurburgring 09, Silverstone 08. In fact last year Quali in Silverstone was far far worse yet they managed to finish qualifying.

    Someone needs to replace Charlie White, he has clearly lost it.

    Why on earth I am even getting up at 5am to watch this joke of a sport.

    Today was almost as worst as USA 05 GP. Same amount of incompetence on display.

    1. AlexD says:

      Agree with you……………….

      1. Joel says:

        I heard that the lake in the middle of the circuit started overflowing over a part of the circuit… If you look at the circuit map, you’ll know.
        I do love wet races and I feel last year CW had unnecessarily stopped races during rain (I don’t want F1 to become NASCAR), however, I think he may be right this time.

    2. Sri says:

      I was awake from 2:00-4:00 AM in USA :-(
      Why not let the drivers decide what speed they should be driving on a wet track? Those who are capable (or lucky) may get to the front and those who cannot will be caught out (perhaps for a good reason). It is silly to expect people to spend all their time just waiting and finally being told there is not any quali happening. Also tomorrow again we need to spend some extra time.

    3. Marian says:

      I totally agree with you

    4. Steve Kennedy says:

      What Race were you watching? Throughout the there was standing and even running water crossing the track.

      You may have missed this but like 12 cars had spins with at least 5 hitting something just in Q1. With little run off room cars end up back on the track after contact with the barriers.

      Please try to think of it from the drivers and Charlie’s point of view, safety is paramount. When you go off at Silverstone your 200 metres from a wall. Just saying.

      The sport is not a joke when driver’s safety is at risk and whinning comments like your really annoy me.

      1. Jack F1 says:

        Yes cars did spin, but they always do when it’s wet, but they also managed to set fast laps and the track was dry enough to switch from wets to inters.

        To say that the track was too dangerous, is laughable. If anything, when they do race in the wet it is actually safer than racing in the dry. Speeds are a lot slower and most impacts that do happen are at lower speed than in the dry.

        Can’t remember when was the last time, I saw a serious accident in the wet. I saw plenty of really bad ones in the dry, Kubica in canada for an example.

        Since clearly you are so concerned about safety, why don’t be ban F1 and lets turn to golf, that’s a lot safer.

      2. Paul Kirk says:

        I TOTALLY agree with you, Steve!
        Isn’t it funny how some humans just can’t help but be critical and find faults with everything? Basically they’re only interested in their own little 2 cubic meters of space and don’t give a stuf about anything/anybody else! I’ve noticed it is a trend developing particularly in young people over the last 20 years!
        PK.

    5. Robert says:

      As I stated above, they are short full wet tyres – only three sets per car for the entire weekend. If they burn two sets, or even one full set, in quali and then have a wet race they cannot finish the distance. Once the race starts, they have more latitude towards using up the wet tyres, as in Fuji, Nurenberg, and Silverstone 08. Tellingly, last year at Silverstone they DID burn full wets in quali, BUT they were actively considering dispatching a plane to the factory to bring in more sets for Sunday if it looked like they would need them – this is not possible in a fly away like Melbourne.

      I saw no evidence of incompetence on display…they FIA made a cost-based decision to bring “reasonable” amounts of tyres to races, especially the fly-aways. Given that, they have to live within those boundaries and still put on a race. I suggest you try Sky+ or a PVR rather than get up at 5AM.

      And I am pretty sure it is Whiting, not White.

      1. Jack F1 says:

        Why worry about full wet tires? Dude wake up, there isn’t going to be any racing when the full wets are required, Charlie Whiting won’t have the balls to send them out.

        There wasn’t any racing when Inters were being used. What makes you think they will start using full wets when using interns that track appears to be too wet…

      2. JC says:

        Paul Hembery (Pirelli) was interviewed at the track and said full wets could last the whole day on a wet track.

    6. Seán Craddock says:

      Do you mean Nurburgring 2007?

      09 was a bone dry race

    7. quattro says:

      Charlie cannot make the sun not go down.
      I think they need to start by not scheduling GP events so late/close to sunset.

      Another thing that FIA can do is get those silly brooms away. Make it mandatory for GP organizers have a couple of proper vehicles/machines present at the circuit, that can be used to drain/remove standing water by driving around the circuit – every time a forcast says RAIN. This is 2013 after all…

    8. GT_Racer says:

      “There was hardly any freaking rain anywhere, they were driving on inters in Q1.”

      It began to rain much, much harder just after Q1 though so the fact it got dry enough for inter’s in Q1 is totally irrelevant.

  14. Marian says:

    Are you sure that the “long waiting is over”? I’m still waiting for the qualifying to finísh.

  15. JC says:

    Disgrace.

    I was at the track and the rain was not that bad. It was sporadic, mostly light and heavy at times. It was never torrential. Support races had no trouble with the conditions. It is ridiculous that the, so called, pinnacle of motorsports can have a track that does not drain correctly and rules that do not result in cars that run high enough in moderate rain.

    Us diehard fans sat out the whole period of rain, right up until quali was postponed. Sometimes I think the rule makers and enforcers have it too comfy and forget what the fans go through for their chosen sport.

    Disgrace.

    1. Bobby says:

      Just read that the V8 Supercars (Australia’s national touring car series, the top tier of motorsport in the country) raced Race 3 of the non-championship meet successfully Saturday (the race is non-championship because of television issues). The 12-lap race took 30 minutes to finish.

      If qualifying had taken place at 2 PM instead of 5 PM (3 AM GMT; Friday 11 PM New York time), then they would have had the opportunity to have raced all three sessions without problem.

      1. JC says:

        I was there for the V8 race. The rain was no worse than for the F1s. All support events could run. Just the F1s can’t get their act together.

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      Out of a negative must come a positive. You’ll have double the action tomorrow!

      1. JC says:

        If I can get into the track on time. Gates open at 10:30. Quali starts at 11:00. I better leave my hotel now to get a spot in the queue…

    3. Glennb says:

      JC
      It’s not so much the rain but the standing water and ‘rivers’ that flow across the track in places. Albert Park is a street circuit and as such does not cater for excessive water run off.
      Would I be right in assuming you only had a Saturday pass for the GP?
      That would suck…

      1. JC says:

        Which is why I wrote “It is ridiculous that the, so called, pinnacle of motorsports can have a track that does not drain correctly”.

        Nope. I have a 4 day grandstand ticket on pit straight. Just opposite the start finish line. Here’s hoping I can get into the track tomorrow by 11:00. Gates only open at 10:30…

  16. Erik says:

    Soft. Bring back monsoon tyres.

  17. Aussie Rod says:

    Looking forward to an action packed day tomorrow.

    Can’t get over how strong modern F1 cars are nowadays. So many incidents involving walls and tire barriers yet for the most part they kept going.

    Impressive!

  18. Sebastian says:

    Unusually expensive Q1…

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      imagune the fury of people have got tickets for saturday only?

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        oops ‘who have’

  19. tank says:

    “The long wait”… isn’t over :-(

  20. AlexD says:

    I do not know what is your feeling overall after what we have seen this weekend so far, but it really looks like Red Bull has a comfortable margin over the rest of the field, something like 0,3-0,5 sec, Mercedes is very quick too…probably quicker than Ferrari, but Alonso did not have a clear run today to show it.
    Also it looks like Red Bull is going to be quick in wet conditions and Ferrari is not going to have a quicker car in same conditions.
    Williams, really a sad time for them…..One thing I do not understand is that Maldonado was saying that the car is superb and better than last year, right now he is saying that it is undriveable. Looks like everything is driven by emotions in this case….
    Lotus, as quick as Ferrari.
    I think red bull is the fastest, then it is mercedes and then ferrari and lotus. Mclaren off the pace…..

  21. goferet says:

    Well that was fun and was shaping up nicely to be an epic tassle in the rain that was going to throw up a couple of surprises >>> shame it had to be called off though it was the right decision.

    Now drivers that must be thanking their lucky stars must be Lewis and Massa for it had slipped through their hands.

    Yes, too bad for Maldonado, he’s great on street circuits but it will still be interesting to watch him make his way up the grid.

    On the other side of the coin, good wet weather drives by Rosberg, Perez, Grosjean, Alonso, Jenson and the Marussia pilots for judging the conditions just right.

    Interesting, Vettel wasn’t at the top of the time sheets and with dry running expected for tomorrow’s qualifying, rival teams could have missed their only chance to steal pole away from the Red Bulls.

    Anyway till midnight then.

    1. Raymond Yu says:

      Except Vettel was crushing the timesheets in Sector 1 and 2, before Gutierrez’s yellow flag in Sector 3 meant he had to slow down, and pitted instead.

    2. Brad says:

      Vettel was fastest on wets…

  22. Tealeaf says:

    Was Hamilton rattled or what??? He was over the limit yet Nico caught him over 2 seconds on that opening lap and then was faster on the inters, same in FP2 when Nico’s pace was too much for Lewis to handle, we’ll see for definite in the dry in Q3 and the race but it seems so far from testing and Melbourne that Hamilton is slower than Rosberg and no better than a 43 year old Schumi or Webber for that matter, at least those 2 can easily beat Rosberg in quali and in Webber’s case he was better driver than Nico, Im sure Schumi in his prime would blow Nico away too, just shows how overrated Hamilton is, first beaten by Button now this over driving, 1 has to wonder what Vettel would do to him.

    1. AlexD says:

      Let him have at least one race for Mercedes, ok?

    2. Nelson says:

      You are hilarious. I think you miss the last season when Button was not even close to Hamilton’s performance.Time will tell and prove you wrong my friend.

    3. James Clayton says:

      Quite a judgement to make based on 20 minutes of racing…

    4. Laurence H says:

      And you’ve decided this after one session of the whole season…?

    5. MistressofSpeed says:

      Tealeaf.
      The first one out gets to clear away the water, puddles etc and is expected to be slower than the car following. So, wouldn’t it have been incredibly arrogant for HAM to insist on being regarded as the no.1 and going out behind his teammate? I personally believe that it was Hamilton’s and the teams intention to go for a banker lap and then, if the conditions allowed, a faster lap. The fact that the painted white lines, curbs etc contributed to a number of mistakes by more than one driver provides me with a better explanation than what you have surmised.

      We’re you watching or are you solely relying on what was reported together with a keen interest in ‘proving’ Nico will be faster than Lewis at the earliest opportunity rather than making an assessment when the winner (whoever he may be) crosses the line in Brazil at the end of the season?

      1. MistressofSpeed says:

        Well it’s 00:47 Tealeaf!

        What’s your assessment now?

    6. madmax says:

      Nico was just 20 years old in his rookie year in F1 against the established Williams driver Webber so it’s unfair to make comparisons.

      In their 3 years together Hamilton beat Button 44-13 in qualifying and 24-13 in races both finished so it’s a bit of a stretch to say he was beaten by Button.

    7. Steven says:

      on the first lap he went wide on turn 3, and hit some mud, and the rest of that session he had a broken rear wing…

    8. Richard says:

      Not sure Schumacher was ever that fast, he simply had all the advantages, and had a ruthless streak such that he was unsportmanlike at times. Nico Rosberg on the other hand has been a very underrated driver for some time, but I suspect he is as fast as anyone on the grid. He has for the last few years become adept at pushing a downforce lacking car beyond it’s limit, and I suspect that has taught him something. Hamilton on the other hand is on a learning curve at Mercedes with an unfamilar car. It is far too early to draw any conclusions, so when we are 10 races in then perhaps a clearer picture will emerge.

    9. KRB says:

      Geezus people, from this one thing you’re writing Hamilton off as overrated? Unbelievable.

      Keep an even keel people. Conclusions will not be able to be reasonably made until we’re six or seven races in.

      Or keep on doing what you’re doing, but please be prepared, and man enough, to admit here that you were wrong, instead of slinking into the shadows once more.

    10. Colombia Concalvez says:

      Calm down, seriously calm down!. If you had followed the test in Barcelona proper you would know that Rosberg did his time on a qualy lap and Lewis on the end of his stint. And in FP1 you could see that Lewis was over half a second faster than Rosberg but now that Rosberg did a good job in FP2 suddenly Lewis is overrated ?. And don’t let me laugh about Schumacger the most overrated, he only won his 7 WDC because his No1 status. And Vettel ?, you mean Vettel who can’t do anything from second row ?, lol what a joker

    11. Ross Dixon says:

      Well someone’s looking a little silly now. Given qualifying hasn’t finished the history books hasn’t been written. They have now. Do you know what they say?

      Tea leaf has no idea what he is talking about
      #sitdownlittleboy

  23. goferet says:

    Some fun facts.

    1) Since 1996, only 8 times has the pole driver in Melbourne gone on to win the race so not a track that hugely favours pole.

    2) With the exception of Schumi in 2001 and 2004, no driver has won more than one race from pole

    3) In Melbourne’s history, Alonso is the only top driver never to have achieved pole.

    1. Seán Craddock says:

      Eh, Webber and Massa haven’t achieved pole in Melbourne…they’re top drivers

  24. Dave C says:

    It really seems Marrusia has overtaken Caterham and interesting to note how fast Bianchi is, he showed it in testing with FI and now he’s miles faster than Chilton who seems to be out of his depth, Bianchi could be a talent like Alonso or Webber, they stood out in a Minardi the same way, it just seems like Bianchi can take the fight to Torro Rosso, Sauber abd Williams, astounding, up at the front dissapointment for Perez and Hamilton, both overrated.

    1. oak says:

      “astounding, up at the front dissapointment for Perez and Hamilton, both overrated.”

      i would wait until any racing has happened before making a silly comment like this if i were you

    2. Gazza says:

      What on earth are you on about? Perez finished in front of Button.

  25. goferet says:

    Kimi Raikkonen has now had 17
    consecutive results in the points. Only
    Michael Schumacher (24), Sebastian Vettel (19) and Fernando Alonso (18) can boast a longer run.

    ————————————————–

    I wonder, could it be that Kimi is that driver that will bring out the safety car.

    1. James Clayton says:

      I’m pretty sure Alonso is on 23?

    2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Fernando Alonso’s record of consecutive points finishes is 23, famously ended by Grosjean at Spa last year…
      Maybe you already know it, but if you like stats I recommend you Stats F1 (website), you are going to enjoy it.

    3. Campbell says:

      Alonso’s streak was actually 23, from Europe 2011 to Hungary 2012.

    4. KRB says:

      Fernando got to 23 last year, no?

  26. magic carpet says:

    Prolly won’t even be broadcast here in Nascar land North.

  27. AlexD says:

    I need to say that Helmut Marco is not helping people to like Red Bull or Vettel, in particular.

    Read an interview with him about the race tomorrow and he says that ideally Webber is second, but in reality they do not car who is second as the need to win.

    Hard to like Vettel, Marco is always making these comments and it clearly shows that Webber is not even considered for a win.

    People criticize Ferrari, but it is completely different, even the feeling within the team. They supported Massa, always helped him, he is part of the family. Webber is an alien in Red Bull and Marco would get rid of him ASAP if not for other people.

    I honestly hope that other teams (Ferrari, Mercedes or Lotus) will find a way to defeat Red Bull this year. Tired of their arrogance and pride.

    There are no angels in F1, I know, but pride comes before the fall and so far in life, it was always like this.

    I support Ferrari, but they do not seem to have this mojo anymore. They can still win, I think it will come.

    Mercedes…hard to say, I am not so sure about their corporate structure and they have way too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Lotus – hopefully they come strong this year and I hope they will win multiple races.

    McLaren is lost and Williams….I hope the name will stay in F1, but they are on for a decline with everything happening around them.

    1. Hmm says:

      So you won’t like someone if they have an annoying friend?

      Lol.

    2. Rob01 says:

      You don’t like Vettel because he is miles better than Hamilton, in fact so is Nico, Jenson, Alonslow, Webber and Hulkenberg.

  28. Paul says:

    Would it not make more sense to have some provision in the rules where the qualifying results can be taken from the end of a completed Q1 session if the track is too wet / dark to run?

    It would at least give us a result which the press can report today and get people excited about the race.

    1. Alex says:

      Surely it’s worth delsy to getthe chance to watch a complete qualifying rather than missing out on seeing the cars run. Hopefully if it’s dry then teams will have saved enough sets of tyres to really go for it in qualifying so that we finally get some idea of actual pace!

  29. Glenn says:

    I sat in the rain at turn 15 all afternoon… Surprised they got any laps in at all.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Did you have an umbrella?

  30. Beltra says:

    Why not driving in the rain with tyres for wet?. Melbourne weather is odd, but everyone knew it was going to rain… what a strange decision… wet tracks are part of the game and they add value by giving a chance to shine to less known names. ..Do we want RB to lead from day 1? Do they need this support from the organizers?

    1. AlexD says:

      valid point

    2. Glennb says:

      Yes. The organizers postponed quali to support Red Bull Racing. Seriously dude…

    3. KRB says:

      There’s also the fact that the teams have to set up the car for the conditions expected in the race, which is expected to be dry. So they’re weren’t optimally set up to run in the rain.

    4. GS says:

      You are too funny! Based on what ever little action we saw, it was a Ferrari & a Merc driver who struggled and were lucky. Even mark struggled – but not Seb and Fernando

  31. Richard says:

    A bit of a disappointment that! Are the stewards being too careful these days? I note Heikki’s comment to get on with it, and I’ve seen far worse conditions than that in the past so what’s the big deal. Having said that the white lines appeared to be quite treacherous in the wet. One would think in this highly technological age they could come up with something that performs better than that. That aside Nico Rosberg was showing great pace in Q1 and it just a shows what a bit of heat in the tyres will do, but good show to him. There’s no doubt that Mercedes have got some pace in that car, but not enough I fear to beat Red Bull in the dry.

  32. Andrew says:

    I live in Melbourne and the rain didn’t seem that heavy. They have full wet tyres for a reason right? I was going to go but luckily decided to save my $85. Will the fans be refunded?

  33. F12012 says:

    Modern F1 drivers seem to hate driving in the rain

    1. Chris G says:

      Button doesn’t appear to

    2. Hmm says:

      Watch 80s/early90s races and how the likes of Lauda refused to drive in the rain and how Senna asked for races to be stopped when too wet. Then come back.

      1. Ernesto De Puesto says:

        Slight difference being that those people actually really risked their lives going out there.

        But why bother with minor details, right?

    3. Bring Back Murray says:

      It was painting all those black lines over all those white lines. How inconsiderate of them!

    4. Marian says:

      I don’t think so. Alonso was ready to drive.. It was Charlie’s decission to stop the qualifaying session, as usual. He decides who wins or loses.

  34. Andy says:

    Bernies’ insistence that the race is held at 5pm local time, to suit the European audience, is madness.
    If you’re in Europe and you want to watch the practice sessions, you have to pull an all-nighter anyway. Tonight I could have gone to bed and got up early for the race, now it’s all night again.
    The worse thing though is the local spectators. They’ve missed what would have been most likely, one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the year, because they ran out of daylight to suit Europe.
    It is a bonus I suppose if you’ve got a race day ticket, although with the gates opening only one hour before Q2 starts, I can’t see many getting in before the off.

    1. EzPez says:

      I agree! why not hold the race at 11pm or mid-day local time,(12-1am UK)? would be alot more sociable in my opinion, bed time at 5 ish and have a nice lay-in. :D

      1. Adriano says:

        +1

        I can’t think of a better way to start the season than getting the beers in and watching the race live on a (UK) Saturday night. Top idea!

        Bernie and Melbourne please take note. Seriously guys, just imagine the amount of free exposure you’d get in bars up and down the country…

    2. AJ says:

      100%. A 5pm local start time was always going to open to light issues if problems arose. Pretty poor planning actually, that risk should have been obvious.

    3. Feral says:

      Just a note for some of you fans watching this on TV…..loss of light had a bit to do with it being stop…..TV cameras always makes it looks lighter than it really is so lighting was a major safety concern.

  35. Glennb says:

    “With the Australian GP having a late start in order to make it European friendly there was insufficient lighting to further delay the session”.

    Gee thanks Europe…
    Good thing it was called off though. Too many people would have been upset with a RB 1-2 in the wet. Much better they do it in the dry tomorrow ;)
    Go Webber!

  36. Irish con says:

    I think that was a ridiculous decision. So if it rains like that tomorrow there will be no race? Sure after 15 mins in q1 they was on intermediates. These guys are supposed to be the best in the world. Get on with it and drive abit slower. Silverstone was a lot worse last year.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Or if they start it they’ll have the safety car out for 20 laps before the track is almost ready for inters. Make sure everyone’s tip-toed round through the puddles enough times

  37. Ed says:

    Very annoyed at the delay, when the decision was made, it seemed no different to the beginning of Q1, so not sure what the problem is.

    What is the point of the full wet tyre? they don’t race on it, and they don’t qualify on it.

    Yes there’s a safety aspect, but motorsport is dangerous, and all that is required is some judicial use of the throttle.

    Maldonado must be really annoyed, why should he be caught up at the back of the grid, while all the others can qualify in completely different conditions tomorrow

    Not really worth getting up for was it!

  38. DB4Tim says:

    Has F1 ever done this before..??
    I think it is good but wondering

    1. James Clayton says:

      You only need to read as far as the second paragraph to find your answer…! :)

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      BBC said something about this happening in Japan not so long ago

    3. Simmo says:

      Read the second paragraph

  39. Onko says:

    Typical Melbourne, three seasons that accurres
    during day,however hairy moments though but
    exciting,in hindsight one would tend to say
    by putting an intermediate tyeres on in the
    later stage of a Q one was not hot decission
    would you not agree Mr Allen.

  40. Jumpy O'VeRbUmP says:

    Congrats, Jenson – your little rain-dance back-of-garage worked!

    Or have McLaren successfully pioneered and tested a workable laser cloud-seeding device.
    If the latter, it’ll be interesting to see if the FIA considers it ‘legal’.

    Technical Ref:-
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-scientists-potential-lasers.html

    1. Innes Iderh says:

      There is indeed truth in the rumour regarding that laser prototype.

      I believe a certain Mr. Bernard Ecclestone funded the research and once the technique is perfected he will retain the exclusive right to deploy said device.

    2. Glennb says:

      It IS legal as it isn’t deemed to be driver operated, nor does it come from a hole in the floor.
      Perfectly legal ;)

  41. Horno says:

    All due to the late start.. for European viewers!!
    Next year, please start earlier, so it will not get dark.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      You can’t blame the European viewers for the rain though!

    2. Wild Man says:

      Rain can come at any time.

  42. Bobby says:

    Bernie once again has been burned in trying to make F1 races “European Friendly” thanks to rain. We saw that at Malaysia (race not run to 75% conclusion in 2009), and once again we see that in Australia (rain in middle of late qualifying session).

    Here in the US, it’s uncertain if NBCSN will air a rebroadcast of Practice 2 and Q1, or will they air the remainder of Q2 and Q3 after the first leg of the Cascadia Cup, formally announced by support groups of three teams to officially award a trophy to the winning side of a top football derby in the continent, the Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders FC match (the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, which play in the 2010 Winter Olympic opening and closing ceremony stadium, now retractable-roof, is the third team in the derby; the three teams’ home and home matches — six matches by each team — form the derby). The NBCSN schedule calls for the rebroadcast of P2 and Q1 after the first leg of derby but they could air Q2 and Q3 after the derby.

    The 5 PM local time start is a joke. Austin is a 12 noon start local time for the NBC broadcast network (FTA) broadcast but that is a byproduct of sunset being early. Most races are 2 PM local starts, why not Melbourne?

  43. MR says:

    How many hundreds of millions in development of cars and tyres and they cannot drive in heavy rain……..never heard of a Le Mans 24Hr race being stopped due to rain even at night. To my tiny race fan mind, you need to adjust your speed and driving style to accommodate the conditions at the time. Yes I agree with comments previous that stopping the quali or race favours the bug bucks boys who dont like it when they get challenged by the lower echelons in conditions that perhaps don’t favour their cars. But who am I……..just the fan that pays top dollar to attend races or watch it on PAYTV……….smallfry……..

  44. Paul says:

    This farcical situation was not helped by the fact that the teams are all expecting a dry race so don’t want to make the required changes to the cars ride height, wing angles, suspension etc just to qualify in the wet. The consequence of a dry setup is of course aqua planing even with the slightly larger diameter wets.

    Unless I’m mistaken if qualifying was dry and then the race was declared wet the teams are then allowed to make changes to the cars – if that’s correct then why can’t they just do the same but reversed if its wet? Or better still sack off the parc ferme rules and let them set the cars for qualifying like the good old days and let them out the race setup back on after………

  45. Grant says:

    Drivers should be allowed to drive within the limits of the wet tyres else what’s the point

  46. Mark says:

    Gee, it looks to me that F1 drivers have become sissy’s nowadays. What an ludicrous decision to cancel Q2 and Q3 because of rain and darkness.

    What the bleep! Start earlier, because it will always be early for us in Europe. So what?! Who cares??
    And this little bit of rain, come on guys, you’re supposed to be the best drivers in the world…….you’re all becoming a joke if this continues during the season: oh no, it looks a little wet on the track, lets cancel the quali!!

    Yes, the cars are expensive and so on and so forth, but you have a throttle in there don’t you? Then use it carefully, thats why you’re expert drivers, right??

    F1 is becoming less F1 and more of a Nintendo game by the looks of it ;(

  47. dean cassady says:

    Get over it!
    So the marshals put the qualifying off until tomorrow; unless you are in Melbourne, and maybe a lot of people in Melbourne would agree, qualifying tomorrow. A drag for the organizers and people there today, but not included tomorrow, but that is it.
    Like a racing incident; get over it.
    I like the variability of it. Unpredictability and random chance are our key partners in spectacle and excitement.
    To quote the old geezer himself, “It’s raining and the track is wet”, and paraphrase, ‘random chance, in this thing, happens, aren’t we lucky’.

  48. Hmm says:

    Odd how when a teammate puts a little pressure on Hamilton, he loses his wits and cannot think clearly and makes mistakes.

    Very similar to Alonso. Maybe that’s why they compliment each other like they are in love.

    1. Dave Aston says:

      I doubt it’s love, it’s probably just a physical thing.

  49. Danny Almonte says:

    Hopefully the track will be nice and dry on Sunday. Mercedes looking strong in the dry and the wet is a comforting reality. Wins and podiums may be in the offing.

    White lines painted black sounds like a rock band. Maybe they should add some grit to the paint. It must be a pain for the drivers to have invisible road hazards.

  50. Rich C says:

    Too bad the techno-geniuses in F1 can’t come up with a new high-tech way for the boys to see where they’re going.

    Y’know, like some big-A lights on the front? or FLIR? We could call them “headlights!”

    No, that would be too… “relevant!”
    Can’t do anything “relevant” to road cars or the FIA’s Road Safety blitz.

    Nope. Can’t be “relevant” unless its “green!”

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

    1. Dave Aston says:

      Headlights would be cool. Bang an extra seat in and they could race at Le Mans too.

  51. sergiu says:

    I think a night race like Singapore would be a nice solution for us European viewers!

  52. All revved-up says:

    Are all cars in parc ferme conditions till the end of the race?

    Those with wet weather set-ups will look rather silly if it’s bone dry tomorrow?

    F1 shouldn’t be such a lottery.

  53. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Nice to be awake in North America from 2 AM to 4 AM for nothing!

    Maybe it wasn’t the rain, but an electric outage for broadcaster as some people are saying, I cannot imagine F1 drivers not doing it on the wet. Maybe we can say the painting on the track lines was not correct (slippery). You’ll never know the true, but you have to keep moving anyway.

    Do you remember yesterday I was talking about ROSBERG, ROSBERG and ROSBERG?

    Well is ROSBERG who tops the qualy in the wet, not to bad eh?

  54. Dominic J says:

    What are the rules on repairing the damaged cars?

    Normally Mercedes wouldn’t have a lot of time to replace rear wing (not as quick as a front wing change) but I guess Hamilton will start Q2 with a new one – is that correct?

    Also, if Guttierez had been in the top 16, would he have been allowed out in Q2?

  55. GS says:

    This is going to be an exciting season for sure!

    It’s going to be make or break for either Lewis or Nico.
    Same with Felipe.
    Lets see if Jenson can win a race this season… Looks tough
    Critical one for RG as well – however my gut says he is going to make it work..
    Imagine Sutil beating Nico H! Feel bad for Nico H – he deserves a top drive, more than SP
    Podium prediction – Seb, Fernando & Nico R – if no car failure & whichever order…

  56. Rob says:

    In rain, it’s not good to go out first… Hamilton was clearing the water for Rosberg, which is probably why he was faster.

    Still, Rosberg did well in the first battle…

    Lets see how the war progresses…

  57. cometeF1 says:

    I have to agree with many of the comments here. It is rather frustrating to have to wait till tomorrow to find out what the full grid will look like. I am not any kind of expert in this, but I thought that qualifications could have gone on. I understand that safety is critical, the better safe than sorry philosophy. Still, I don’t know that any driver thought the conditions were so bad today. They should know right? Marc

  58. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Did you see the McLaren Electronic Systems could really, really be called a “MESS”?

  59. Methusalem says:

    It rains even in Australia! Mr. Ecclestone, please move the 1st race of the season to the damn desert of Abu dhabi or Bahrain.

  60. Brace says:

    I live in Europe and I’d always much rather stay up late on Friday night and Saturday night, even to 4-5am morning the next day, then getting up at 5am on Saturday and Sunday. Who the hell is waking up at 5am if they are not an F1 fan?
    And if they are an F1 fan, they will surely want to watch practice sessions too, so there’s no point really sleeping before quali either.
    Total mess. Why can’t they move all the sessions to start much earlier in the day, than much later.

    First off all, I wouldn’t mind it being at any time of day or night, but if they really want to move it towards Europe, I’d rather have it after midnight than waking up at 6am on a weekend.

  61. moxlox says:

    All I can say is Fuji 07 or Adelaide 89. F1 used to do it, and in that eighties’ example on a street track I’ll put money on, that the tyres were worse and the cars had less downforce.

    Stop stopping the sessions please.

    1. GT_Racer says:

      And look what happened at Adelaide in ’89.

      Most the driver didn’t want the race to go ahead, Alain Prost pulled out at the end of the 1st lap, Cars were spinning off in the middle of the straghts & Senna drove into the back of Martin Brundle on a straght because he couldn’t see him, Nelson Piquer was nearly killed by driving into the back of/under another car & having his helmet make contact with the bottom of that car & 18 drivers retired all but 4 because of spins/accidents.

      Conditions at Fuji 2007 were not as bad (After the SC delay) because track drainage was pretty good so standing water cleared very quickly (Quicker than expected actually).

  62. Jenks says:

    With no spare car, nobody will want a big smash in qualifying now.

  63. Aey says:

    If there is rain, just drive slowly and more carefully. That it.

    for Safety reason, with heavy rain, I haven’t see the big crash in rain. Everyone drive slower and careful to get the corner. There might be some spin or hit the wall, but not dangerously hard.

    With light rain and inter tyre, there are more danger than full wet, car run faster, turn faster, if there is mistake, they hit the wall harder.

    Big crash mostly happen when the track is dry or partly wet, as the driver is less careful.

    No matter how heavy the rain is, if there are no flood on track. There is no undriveable, just drive slower, 3 minute per lap is OK, everyone drive in the same environment, no one get advantage of the condition.

    If someone can drive with Inter and faster than full wet, . . . does that mean undriveable. If the car can’t turn at all at any speed, that call Undriveable . . . but not as today.

    1. GT_Racer says:

      “If there is rain, just drive slowly and more carefully. That it.”

      Not that simple.

      You can be driving ridiculously slowly & super cautiously & still get thrown off the track when going through standing water.

      Biggest problem with standing water & especially when you have water flowing across the track is that its totally unpredictable in terms of what the car will do when you run through it. One lap you can go through without issue & then the next it can suddenly throw you off track even if you do nothing different.

  64. Matey says:

    It wasn’t so much the rainfall that caused the postponement of qually but the amount of standing water on the circuit.
    Even though it is disappointing for us driver safety must be paramount.

  65. Ernesto De Puesto says:

    F1 has become a joke when it comes to safety car use and race/qualification suspension and cancellation due to rain or other minor annoyances. There has been many incidents in recent years where fans and drivers have been cheated out of exciting races (rain) or well-deserved results (excessive use of safety car to bunch up the field).

    I personally am really starting to get sick of it and my estimation of F1 has therefore slowly dropped in recent years.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes but safety has to come first.

      1. Ernesto De Puesto says:

        The safety standards are already insanely hight compared to only a few decades ago and the few remaining issues that need tackling (like putting some protection in place to prevent tires or debris from hitting drivers’ heads) are not being pursued as quickly as they should be for what I would guess are marketing reasons (as in, it might look bad).

        Also in the situations I had in mind it was rather debateable whether the safety car use was really for safety (considering that tires are cooling to a dangerous level and drivers tend to warm them up by breaking abruptly, leading to several crashes or near-crashes under the very safety car supposedly protecting said drivers) or was used as a means to “spice up” the race by closing gaps, which in my personal opinion would be against everything F1 should stand for.

        So I agree safety has to come first, I do think however we the fans are having the wool pulled over our eyes with the usage of that word to disguise other agendas I personally disagree with – which is what led to my original comment.

  66. Seán Craddock says:

    James, is this one of the first times qualifying has been postponed having already started? At Suzuka 2010 and 2004 the whole session was held on sunday.

    Anyway, for that reason I’m just wondering what the rules would have been if someone had an incident on track but had still finished qualified for Q2. Would the team be able to fix the car and do Q2 tomorrow if the car couldn’t be driven back to the pits?

    If I’m not mistaken when it happens under normal conditions the car isn’t returned between the Q3-Q2 gap.

  67. AJ says:

    Here’s the live Melbourne weather radar loop, not looking great right now, could be more excitement to come today!

    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR023.shtml

  68. dufus says:

    Watched the coverage by OneHd for most of yesterday.
    Helmut never left Vettels garage.
    Did James really ask Horner why Vettels car is always faster than Webbers ? If so, balsey move James.
    Good work.
    Gee the coverage, camera work etc is the best ive seen for any GP. The slow-mos are awesome.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, it was a joke question, to get him in the mood!

      1. brendan says:

        horner should of said, if vettel was in webbers car that would always be faster.

  69. luqa says:

    When did the rules change allowing one to reverse back on to the RACE TRACK as LH obviously did? Surely there should be a sanction for this..
    Any thoughts on this James??

    1. JC says:

      I thought the same when I saw this. Although I think a strong argument could be made that his car was in a dangerous locations, marshals would be in serious jeopardy trying to recover it and so reversing was the safest option.

  70. Peter_GH says:

    Its easy to sit at home watching on tv, or in the stands at a track & say ‘they could race in this’, However its impossible to understand just what its like to drive a race car in those sort of conditions unless you have actually done it.

    I had a friend a few years back who would always complain about rain delays & safety car’s in the rain, Just like many here are doing now.
    However he then decided to start racing himself & after his 1st run in the rain he phoned me up & said that he now fully understood why they are as cautious as they are, He called it the most terrifying thing he’d ever been through.

  71. Brian says:

    My advice to TV viewers…get a DVR. Watching anything live is so 1990s! Here in the US all races except 2 are broadcast at inconvenient times.
    To those that actually go to the track , you should expect decisions like starting time or postponing qualifying to favor the Tv audience. F1 is a becoming a TV sport.

  72. Rudy Pyatt says:

    As the saying goes, “let’s get it on!” Hamilton, Massa, Vettel for the podium. Weber 4th, then Alonso. DiResta gets a top 10 finish.

  73. Rudy Pyatt says:

    (assuming no crash at the first corner)!

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