• Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Storms cause Qualifying to be postponed

ESPN Staff
March 16, 2013 « New Williams 'undriveable' - Maldonado | Hamilton admits to fortune after spin »
Cars queue in the pit lane to start Q1 after it was finally given the go ahead © Sutton Images

Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix will continue on Sunday morning after torrential downpours in Melbourne forced its postponement after Q1.

Heavy rain fell prior to the start of the session - the storms were severe enough to knock out TV coverage for a time - and ensured the first part of qualifying was delayed on three occasions until finally getting underway half an hour late. Nico Rosberg was fastest in a session littered with crashes, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton lucky to escape an early spin.

Felipe Massa hit the wall at turn 12 and somehow only suffered damage to the front wing and nose, but Esteban Gutierrez was not so lucky as he crashed at the same point at the end of the session. As a result Gutierrez dropped out alongside a frustrated Pastor Maldonado.

The Marussias finished ahead of the Caterhams as both Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic lost their front wings against the wall (Pic creatively saying he "made contact with the barrier which meant I had to pit") with Jules Bianchi impressively clear of team-mate Max Chilton. Pic was actually 0.010s outside the 107% time but the conditions should ensure he is allowed to race.

That turned out to be the end of the action as heavy rain returned and, allied with debris on the track, successive delays forced the stewards to postpone qualifying shortly after quarter to seven with fading light becoming an issue.

  • Q2 will start at 11am on Sunday - with the forcecast more promising - as the teams need time to do work on the cars between the end of qualifying and the start of the race at 5pm.

    Charles Pic hits the wall at the end of Q1 © Getty Images
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