Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix will be postponed until 11am local time on Sunday morning due to heavy rain showers in Melbourne.
A delayed Q1 managed to take place, but the start of Q2 was repeatedly put back due to the weather conditions. The decision to postpone the rest of the session was finally taken nearly two hours after qualifying had begun.
The situation was complicated by further showers being forecast, so that even if the track improved, the likelihood was that the rain would immediately return. Looming sunset added a further pressure, with little daylight left to fit in Q2 and Q3.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m43.380s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m43.850s + 0.470s 3. Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 1m44.284s + 0.904s 4. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.300s + 0.920s 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m44.472s + 1.092s 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m44.635s + 1.255s 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m44.657s + 1.277s 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.688s + 1.308s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.871s + 1.491s 10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m45.456s + 2.076s 11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m45.545s + 2.165s 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m45.601s + 2.221s 13. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m45.930s + 2.550s 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m46.450s + 3.070s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m47.328s + 3.948s 16. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m47.330s + 3.950s 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m47.614s + 4.234s 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m47.776s + 4.396s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m48.147s + 4.767s 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m48.909s + 5.529s 21. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m49.519s + 6.139s 22. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m50.626s + 7.246s
Raikkonen disappointed to miss out on lie-in
The inclement conditions have caused all manner of inconvenience here in Melbourne; a delay to qualifying, cancelled media sessions, endless track sweeping… for Kimi however, there have been far more pressing repercussions…
Q: How was the interrupted qualifying session today?
KR: It wasn’t easy with the traffic, people going off and the yellow flags but we went through to the second qualifying session tomorrow so it’s not all bad.
Q: You’ve now sampled the E21 in the wet; was it to your liking?
KR: The car doesn’t feel too bad in the wet – it’s an improvement on where we were last year for sure – but today the challenge was finding some clear space on track so we didn’t get to really push.
Q: Does finishing qualifying then having the race on the same day make anything different for you?
KR: The session being delayed until tomorrow was a shame but it’s the same for everyone. It’s just normal once it starts and hopefully we get through to Q3. I’d prefer to be having a lie-in tomorrow morning as it’s a late race, but you have to qualify and being out in the car will soon wake me up.