Australian GP qualifying postponed to Sunday

2013 Australian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2013Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix has been postponed until Sunday morning due to heavy rain.

The start of qualifying was delayed by half an hour due to rain. It eventually began at 5:30pm and the 20-minute session ran its course.

But the start of Q2 was repeatedly delayed due to rain and put back as late as 6:50pm local time. But with more rain arriving and sunset due to arrive at 7:38pm, the stewards took the decision to postpone qualifying.

Before the postponement was announced FIA race director Charlie Whiting said: “After Q1 there was a lot of debris to pick up off the track plus the fact it had rained a little heavier. So we want to try to clear as much water off the track as possible. So we think a 20 minute delay is what we need.”

“The guys are out there working really hard to clear the water off the track. We do have the prospect of another quite heavy shower between now and half past six so I’m not sure that we’ll be able to start at half past six but we’ll do the best we can.”

Q2 will begin at 11am local time (midnight in the UK) on Sunday morning.

The FIA has issued the following updated schedule for tomorrow’s running:

1. All cars used during Q1 must be covered and ready for FIA seals to be applied at 21:20
2. Two hours before the start of Q2 (09:00) seals and covers may be removed, but the cars will remain under parc ferme conditions until the start of the race
3. Q2 will commence at 11:00 for 15 minutes
4. There will then be an interval of eight minutes from the end of Q2 until the start of Q3

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’47.614
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’47.776
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’48.147
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’48.909
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’49.519
22 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’50.626

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152 comments on Australian GP qualifying postponed to Sunday

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  1. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 16th March 2013, 7:53

    I’m not too dissapointed to be honest even though I have been up since three o’ clock. Q1 was terrific with lots of excitement and now we have something to look forward to tonight and tomorrow morning.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2013, 8:15

      Q1 was great. But had they not waited 20 minutes for a rainstorm to come, they could have gotten Q2 done with too. Not to mention that FIA and FOM should give some thoughts to making driving possible even with some rain at these tracks really.

      If standing water is the problem – put in drainage, at least in the worst places. If the black paint over the white stripes matters, that can be cured too, can’t it. And cars can be made to sit higher as well, to make them less risky for aquaplaning off.
      Or just tender the next tyre contract without wet tyres, save some money and stop saying F1 does go on when its wet.

      • Martin (@aardvark) said on 16th March 2013, 8:30

        Standing water will always occur at the same place. The locations are well known. I don’t know why they don’t build extra drainage at these points.

        • Scottie (@scottie) said on 16th March 2013, 9:01

          Problem is, if you want drainage points, you’re going to have to tear things up to install those drainage points… use gutters (on a racetrack?!!) or have a god aweful bumpy track…

      • The full wets do make the ride heights higher, they raise them ~.25 of an inch according to Brundle. The problem with raising them higher simply becomes that you lose more and more downforce, so that even though they aren’t aquaplaning, the grip levels are nowhere near what they would be and the aero balance is also probably way off so that cars under/oversteer terribly.

        I’m not sure how the FIA can get faulted for being too cautious in this situation. When Q1 did take place, plenty of drivers had offs so it’s not like they waited much too long (as they have done the past few wet races with the SC). Between sessions it poured down and was roughly what it was before Q1, and apparently windier such that there would be less downforce into turns 1-3. So it was either send people out and just have chaos as there was good possibility for half the field to crash, like Nurburgring 2007, or wait to see if it could happen. The downside of the waiting wasn’t even a cancellation like it would be for a race, just moving the session to tomorrow. Seems like a no brainer to me.

        • andae23 (@andae23) said on 16th March 2013, 10:03

          @darak Phew, I was starting to think I was the only one with this opinion.

        • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 16th March 2013, 19:40

          @darak Agree … And to be complete, in fact higher floor do cause a drop in downforce as you mentionned which mean they will aquaplane, so no point going higher.

          Some people talk about monsoon tyres. There is no point for such tyresin F1 as the visibility would be awefull. Already the wet tyre throw a lot of water into the air which bring them to the limit of visibility, there is no point going further and have a procession of cars.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 16th March 2013, 10:00

        I was at the track, it was very wet, in Q1 they had cars really struggling. It wasn’t safe to run. Not really. It was right to postpone it, as the rain had come back when Q1 ended. There was a lot of water on the track.

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 16th March 2013, 12:34

        Or @bascb bring monsoon tyres !

        • timi (@timi) said on 16th March 2013, 19:36

          @verstappen This! We have 4 dry types of tyre. We only have 2 types of wet tyres, which severely limits the amount of running if it rains too much. Why not just make a tyre with even bigger grooves, say, an extra wet tyre? Sure, it’ll be even slower than the full wets, but there will be running and I’m sure it would still be entertaining.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2013, 14:08

        Far better to start Qualifying and Racing early afternoon, local time, so loss of light will not be an issue, as F1 is touted as a GLOBAL sport it will allways be a bad time for some viewers.

      • Nick F said on 16th March 2013, 18:17

        In the modern world a lot of amazing technology exists. Why are they using brooms?

  2. oakrichardson (@oakrichardson) said on 16th March 2013, 7:53

    just got to wait that little bit longer!

  3. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th March 2013, 7:53

    I’m due to be doing things on Sunday, so a 12pm qualifying and 6am race will not be fun!

  4. gabal (@gabal) said on 16th March 2013, 7:54

    F1 really shot itself in the foot with those late-evening starting times. I had to get up earlier then I would have for qualifying anyway, getting up a few hours before wouldn’t be a problem for me.

    If this is a new trend I’m not looking forward to Sepang and their 5 o’clock downpurs that happen every day…

  5. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 16th March 2013, 7:55

    What a farce. This makes a mockery of F1.

    These are the best drivers in the world and they can be trusted to drive according to the conditions. Not that the conditions were particularly bad, by standards we’ve seen in the past.

    • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 16th March 2013, 8:00

      @red-andy It’s worse than it looks on TV, trust me I was sitting in it. It’s the standing water that is the real problem. Basically every driver was very nervous on the throttle out of turn 11-12 and the rain wasn’t going to get better plus it was getting much darker than it showed on TV.
      I’d rather have a dry quali tomorrow to show us who is the fastest, rather than it be a wet mess of a qualifying.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 16th March 2013, 8:07

        @nackavich I’m sure that TV pictures don’t tell the whole story, but I can’t imagine it was worse than, say, race day at Fuji in 2007. Or even Silverstone in 2008, where we went the whole race without “needing” the safety car.

        I believe that F1 needs to take a good look at how it handles wet weather these days. In Q1 the cars were on track for fifteen minutes before it was dry enough to go to intermediate tyres, and we’ve seen races where cars have followed the safety car into the pits to change to inters after a supposed “wet start.” This attitude that F1 has to be like cricket is ruining the spectacle and damaging the sport.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 16th March 2013, 10:02

          I was there too, I was watching just after turn 2 and almost all the drivers were having problems coming out of turn 2. I think Hamilton hit the wall there. He wasn’t the only one having problems. Massa and the Williams’ particularly.

        • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 16th March 2013, 14:07

          its a matter of safety, you saw the amount of accidents in q1 where the track was much drier and there was much more light than there would have been in q2..in q2 there would have been more crashes, probably bigger crashes and potential injury…if postponing can avoid that then why wouldnt you?

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2013, 8:19

        Well, after all the waiting, I am not surprised it got dark, so lets just change the start time of the session back another hour, or go back to 14:00 PM local time again @nackavich.

        And the FIA and FOM should think about having a look at what can be done so these cars CAN run with some water on track. Ride height, tyres, whatever, just adapt the regulations to make it possible.
        And have a look at avoiding those puddles by fixing a bit of drainage. Its not the first race, its another one of a far too long string where we have seen racing stopped because its wet, as @red-andy mentions in his post.

        • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2013, 8:32

          @BasCB This is a good point. Modern F1 cars are so sensitive, it’s probably far easier to lose control of them in the wet than it used to be. I’m sure some of the regulations like Parc Ferme conditions and not being able to change setup between qualifying and the race doesn’t help, as teams go for a compromise between a wet and dry setup, rather than a fully wet setup for qualifying and a fully dry setup for the race.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th March 2013, 8:00

      These are the best drivers in the world

      No, they’re not. We have fifteen or sixteen drivers who are arguably the best in the world. As for the remainder, the best that can be said for them is that it remains to be seen – but given the talent that some of those drivers replaced, they have extraordinary shoes to fill if they want to be called the best in the world.

      they can be trusted to drive according to the conditions.

      There’s a path of debris scattered around Albert Park that suggests otherwise.

      • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 16th March 2013, 8:22

        @prisoner-monkeys
        Exactly, considering Massa spun off while Webber took to the grass on the same corner before Guiterrez smashed into bits of the Ferrari left behind.
        The light was a real issue, especially when you look at the 2 hour time limit for the race which ends at 7pm, they wouldn’t have been able to finish quali in decent lighting even if they had’ve resumed.

      • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 16th March 2013, 8:50

        They get paid to be the best… and some of them pay to try to be the best. It really shouldn’t matter. At this level of racing they should all be able to drive even in the most adverse conditions, if they can’t then they really don’t deserve their seat. American football, Rugby, baseball and perhaps cricket are all more inherently dangerous than current F1 racing. Send the drivers out… What’s the worst that can happen, slow Q times?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th March 2013, 9:00

          @alex-bkk

          What’s the worst that can happen, slow Q times?

          Bear in mind that the drivers can act like little princesses sometimes. If they think they can get an advantage by overstating the difficulty of the conditions so that qualifying gets postponed and they can start over in better conditions in the morning, then that’s exactly what they’ll do. We’ve seen it time and time again when races are run behind the safety car because of the conditions – half the drivers will claim that it’s too dangerous to continue and they need to stay behind the safety car, while the other half will claim that the track is fine and that they should start racing again.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 16th March 2013, 10:40

          What’s the worst that can happen

          Oh god I hope you are being sarcastic. When Gutierrez crashed, he almost bounced back onto the racing line, what if someone had hit him.

          F1 has had so many close calls in the last few years it’s not funny.
          I know it’s on TV, but F1 is real, there are actual people in those cars and they all have families.

        • American football, Rugby, baseball and perhaps cricket are all more inherently dangerous than current F1 racing.

          On what basis do you make this assumption? I agree that all of those sports offer more opportunities to break your body and cause long term illness and even cause an early death in american football, but make no bones about it. Fatalaties are instantaneous and horrendous in F1 when they do occur, and no one who has watched the in car footage from Alonso’s car last year can be in any doubt he was inches away from death.

          I think people forget because we have went for such a long time without any major incidents that F1 is incredibly dangerous. Just look at Henry Surtees, John Surtees son.

          • David (@neiana) said on 16th March 2013, 18:25

            Keeping this in mind: Fatalaties are instantaneous in F1 as opposed to long, painful brain and body injuries in other sports. Question to you: If you were to choose, would you prefer an instant and terrible death or take 6 months of surgeries and brain damage to live only with difficulty and the understanding that you may never walk, talk or think like a normal human again?

    • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 16th March 2013, 8:10

      Much rather wait for “clean” qualifying than to expect drivers to race in such conditions. It was getting dark, the rain didn’t stop and the black lines on the track didn’t help either. What would be the point in continuing?

      • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 8:49

        That’s not the point. The point is to start the sessions earlier at a usual local time & expect those who want to watch it live to get out of bed for it.

        We can’t control the rain but we can control the start times that’s the point

        • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 16th March 2013, 10:02

          @bobby-balboa
          You mean that would be nice, right? Right! Surely “we” cannot control the start times either.
          IMO racing start times will only change to an appropriate day time as opposed to Europe viewers’ time when sponsors start seeing a change in their target audience. While they believe the money is in Europe things will probably stay as they are.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2013, 14:23

            @Zicasso, It’s a GLOBAL sport, so it is allways going to be inconvenient for some viewers, the 3 hour delay to give EU viewers a nice morning program means that it happens at 2am in east coast USA a market that F1 desperately needs to attract. God gave us PVRs for a purpose, Bernie should stop interfering in his plan.

          • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 15:28

            My use of the word “we” was referring to people in general if that wasn’t blatantly obvious. It is after all people at FOM that decide the start times and can “control’ them unlike the weather. clown

          • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 16th March 2013, 17:13

            Thanks for clarifying that @bobby-balboa. I still wish to yourself and I had together the power to change the world (that would include controlling F1 starting times).

          • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 21:24

            @zicasso

            and the world would be a better place & we would all live happily ever after . . . . . I do love a happy ending

  6. Saints (@saints) said on 16th March 2013, 7:55

    OMG it’s just rain. Lol @ F1

  7. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 16th March 2013, 7:56

    I was sitting at Turns 11-12 and there was a LOT of water, even in Q1. The TV didn’t do the amount of water justice. Thankfully we left to find a pub to get out of the rain ad watch the rest of quali!

  8. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 16th March 2013, 7:56

    The track was in intermediate conditions.
    F1 can’t drive in the rain anymore. This is a farce.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLGnFTl_6_I
    I can’t believe this was only 4.5 years ago. What a joke this sport has become.

    • ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 16th March 2013, 7:59

      It was the light which was the problem not the water.. it’s too dangerous to drive with poor light to be honest, although it is dissapointing.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 16th March 2013, 8:02

        They kept delaying Q2 because of more rain threats (not rain itself).

        Today the circuit, was at no point anywhere near as bad as Fuji ’07 or Silverstone ’08; yet the delayed it, delayed it, and delayed it.

        I hope it rains tomorrow too. :p

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th March 2013, 8:14

          @kingshark – they are also not street circuits though and this was a qualifying session, which is different from a race. It was the lines that were the major problem.

          And as has been correctly stated the light was becoming a major problem.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 16th March 2013, 8:17

            @vettel1
            Albert Park is as wide as most normal circuits.

            It’s not as if just 5 years ago, we had a wet race in Monaco where the spray was just as bad.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2013, 8:22

            If the lines are the problem, that is hardly something that cannot be fixed. Or that was not there a couple of years back, is it?

          • Illusive (@illusive) said on 16th March 2013, 8:25

            Exactly, the proximity of the sidewalls makes it much more dangerous in this case, so i am ok with the decision too.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 16th March 2013, 8:29

            @kingshark – street cicrcuits have poorer drainage and lines all over the track, so the surface grip is also worse.

            I don’t think that Monaco race was as bad but the man issue here was dismissing light levels. I also feel that the fact it was the first qualifying of the year would also have an influence – it’s the first time they will have really been pushing and that has the potential to be dangerous as all the spins proved.

          • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 16th March 2013, 8:37

            @vettel1 If the white lines were the problem, then the drivers should drive carefully over them.

    • Martin (@aardvark) said on 16th March 2013, 8:14

      That thermal cam shot at 1:05 was great.

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 16th March 2013, 8:18

      Consider the possibility that it could be that the cameras that got better at concealing the rain, while the drivers and cars didn’t get worse in the rain, either.

      And Albert Park’s a street circuit, Silverstone……..(Well, if you can trust these drivers to drive there, why not bring me Brands Hatch, or Spa including Masta, or Monza’s oval, and take away those chicanes at Monza. You can trust the drivers, right? and nothing bad happened there (except Spa?) in the past (Nobody in the World Championship died on the Moza oval. Rindt and von Trips died near Parabolica, I believe)…isn’t – and that might’ve been a factor.

      Sometimes, though, the simplest explanation may be the one that holds any water.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th March 2013, 8:32

      @kingshark

      I can’t believe this was only 4.5 years ago.

      The aerodynamics of the cars have changed considerably since then. The regulation chagnes introduced in 2009 were designed to give the cars a greater wake, because prior to that, the air coming off the car was channeled into a funnel shape that made it very difficult for cars travelling behind to get close. The regulations were written in such a way that the car created a higher, wider wake so as to diminish the effects of dirty air. The downside is that when cars spray water up, it creates a curtain of mist.

      Furthermore, the Albert Park circuit is at sea level and runs around a lake. There is quite literally nowhere for the water to go, because the water table is already very full. Consequently, it doesn’t take much for the water to start spilling over. Montreal has the same problem.

      What a joke this sport has become.

      So you’d prefer for the session to carry on in low light and heavy rain showers, with large puddles of standing water all around the circuit? Did you miss the trail of debris scatterred around the circuit that demonstrated how the drivers were struggling to handle the conditions?

      • Starbuck (@starbuck) said on 16th March 2013, 8:57

        So you’d prefer for the session to carry on in low light and heavy rain showers, with large puddles of standing water all around the circuit? Did you miss the trail of debris scatterred around the circuit that demonstrated how the drivers were struggling to handle the conditions?

        Who doesn’t? F1 is not just about driving fast. It’s about drivers making mistakes because they’re on the absolute limit of what’s physically possible with the car.

        Today’s reaction to the weather was worse than ever before. At no point was the track undriveable. Spraying water might be an argument for the race but not for qualifying where you need to keep a great distance to the next car anyways.

        • David not Coulthard (@) said on 16th March 2013, 9:14

          What about the standing water?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th March 2013, 11:31

          Today’s reaction to the weather was worse than ever before. At no point was the track undriveable.

          So you actually drove it, did you?

          • Starbuck (@starbuck) said on 16th March 2013, 11:53

            Yes.

            Of course not, but this isn’t an argument. We’ve seen more rain on the streets of Melbourne before. If the cars have changed into a direction that they can’t cope with minimal amounts of standing water anymore, then the developement has gone into a completely wrong direction and needs to be changed asap. This is so much worse than cars that are difficult to overtake.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2013, 14:29

        “Montreal has the same problem” right but what a great race we had a few years ago, even with rain delays, because racing started in the middle of the day , not the early evening.

  9. minnis (@minnis) said on 16th March 2013, 7:56

    If waking up at 5:30 for the qualy isnt bad enough, I’m gonna be out at midnight, so I’ll miss it! :(

  10. MJ4 said on 16th March 2013, 7:57

    What egregious incompetence from this multibillion-dollar whatever.

    Let’s put a one-hour plus event 2 hours before sunset so if anything happens we shall surely be unable to finish before dark. The whole g..d.mn day is there to use, but let’s still select a moronically late time slot so we can play with everybody’s time and nerves.

  11. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 16th March 2013, 7:57

    The track was in intermediate conditions.
    F1 can’t drive in the rain anymore. It’s a farce.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLGnFTl_6_I
    I can’t believe this was only 4.5 years ago. What a joke this sport has become.

  12. DD42 said on 16th March 2013, 7:58

    Could be worse but I am a bit annoyed i woke up at 5:45 to watch q1 only

    I wonder what time the bbc are planning to show qualifying highlights?

  13. andae23 (@andae23) said on 16th March 2013, 7:59

    I was actually quite pleased with how the FIA handled this: Charlie appeared in front of the camera and they called it a day fairly quickly. But regarding the time at which the events start: I can understand that they gained a number of viewers by moving the race and qualifying backwards, but this delaying thing has happened several times now. Can we please go back to the old time table?

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 16th March 2013, 8:05

      they called it a day fairly quickly

      Let me just explain that bit: I have been studying the weather radar and there were indeed some dry spells inbetween showers, so the decision to not postpone Q2 to Sunday was justified. The dry spells sort of disappeared when they reached land, which resulted in a continuous rain shower. So I can see why they had hope that it could be restarted, but the circumstance were a bit unfortunate. I’m afraid a lot of people are going to blame the FIA for this saying that they should have called it off sooner, but that is unfounded, unfair and unjustified in my opinion.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2013, 8:24

        There was about a 20 minuted dry spell right after Q1 though. Could have used that for Q2, instead of waiting until it was too late.

        • andae23 (@andae23) said on 16th March 2013, 8:36

          That’s a bit captain Hindsight: they thought it was going to rain, so to avoid risking a red flag in Q2 with another risk of not restarting Q2, they waited for the shower to go by. They were hoping that there was a 15 min dry spell after that shower in which they could merely run Q2, but as it turned out, the shower was in fact not a shower. And when they realized that, there wasn’t enough time to start Q2 before the heavier showe would arrive.

          They wanted to be sure that if Q2 started they would be able to finish. They didn’t see such an opportunity so Q2 simply never got underway.

        • Chainsaw (@chainsaw) said on 16th March 2013, 9:25

          They needed time to clear the debris.. and Guiterrezs car.

        • thersquared (@thersquared) said on 16th March 2013, 22:19

          Furthermore they needed the time after Q1 to clear up all of the debris from the broken wings and Gutierrez’s crashed Sauber or there may have been several punctures in Q2 and possibly more crashes. Also I’m fairly certain the rules mandate at least a 5 min gap between Q1 and Q2 preventing them from immediately starting Q2 after Q1 ended.

    • Chainsaw (@chainsaw) said on 16th March 2013, 9:23

      What was the old timetable?

    • The Next Pope said on 16th March 2013, 11:18

      I agree.
      Also, I find I’m not complaining like the others because the time tomorrow will be very convenient for me.

  14. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 16th March 2013, 8:01

    Absolute farce. I accepted Japan 2010 because it poured all day with no let-up, but this is ridiculous. We’re getting to the point where we don’t need to bother with wet tyres because the action will stop if the conditions get beyond the intermediates. What exactly is wrong with running qualifying and leaving it to the drivers? If it’s too wet, then slow down — it’s not rocket science.

    Midnight it is, then. F1 keeps shooting itself in the foot, this is another case in point!

  15. Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 8:04

    This is becoming a usual problem with the late in the day races in Oz, China & Malaysia. No one can control the weather but with the late session times just to suit a European audience, for me is simply not justifiable.

    I know the sponsors maybe have a big say on this one but it is not good for the sport or the fans. I would happily get up at 3 or 4am to watch quali & race as I think it’s a small price to pay & I accept that F1 is global so it’s not possible to watch all races at noon.

    I want to see the race in full despite any delays due to weather but canceling sessions or ending races early due to lack of daylight hours is crazy.

    So the solutions:
    Do I want all non European races to be under floodlights? No
    Should they send the drivers out and expect them to deal with the condition? Very Debatable
    Should they have the sessions on at a normal local time? Yes

    • McLaren-Monkey (@mclaren-monkey) said on 16th March 2013, 8:08

      +1

      Agreed. A decicated F1 fan will get up at any hour to watch quali / race.

      Besides, SKY / BBC usually re-run the races at lunchtime so all the casual fans can watch the early morning races at Sunday lunchtime.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th March 2013, 8:35

      Should they have the sessions on at a normal local time? Yes

      But then people will complain that the race is on at an awkward time in Europe, especially since it is the opening round of the season. And when the race gets moved so that a more viewer-friendly race can start the season, those same people will complain about giving up on “tradition” for the sake of the audience.

      • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 8:53

        I think the hardcore fans are happy to get up early to watch the races LIVE

        For the casual fans I see no reason why they would care if they are watching a FULL replay of the race at 12 noon like usual.

        Everyone’s a winner

        • Chainsaw (@chainsaw) said on 16th March 2013, 9:27

          @Bobby – Well Said…

          @Monkeys – Since you are in Europe you cannot understand the plight of the Global audience… It should be equal for all..

          • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2013, 11:26

            @Chainsaw I have to admit, that did make me chuckle. @Prisoner-Monkeys is very aware of the ‘plight of the global audience’, given that he’s in Australia…

          • @Chainsaw I live in Canada. I have to get up at 2 am for Australia and the Asian races, and about 7 am for the European races.

            But then people will complain that the race is on at an awkward time in Europe, especially since it is the opening round of the season.

            I almost missed my doctor’s appointment because I was watching a Abu Dhabi 2012. Therefore, the race is at an awkward time and I want it moved.

            Sorry, but no sympathy for the Europeans who can`t get up at 6 or 7 in the morning.

    • Aled Davies (@aledinho) said on 16th March 2013, 10:53

      good points there @bobby-balboa

      I don’t think the few hours difference make much difference. If you’re a hardcore F1 fan and you’ll get up at 5am to watch a qualifying session (like I did this morning) then chances are you’d get up at 3am to watch 1 too (like I used to every year) so I dont think the viewing figures are affected THAT much myself, the casual fan isn’t going to get up earlier to watch a session is he/she.

      The biggest problem though with these start times is that it often leads to sessions/races being under threat because of light going, which I do think is totally unavoidable.

      My other point is about the delays, I appreciate the safety aspect has to come into play and I agree with it, but I haven’t missed many F1 races since I started seriously taking an interest in 1997 and well, I dont remember many qualifying sessions or races being affected this much by rain. There never used to be that many wet races being delayed at the starts (the occasional safety car start did come in around this time for wet races , no bad thing) but since 2009 I do find myself wondering what the hell is going on when the rain comes down and all of a sudden the cars come in and we all have to wait for the action to restart or be cancelled. Some of the greatest drives in history for F1 were in wet races, mainly because everyone appreciates the difficulty level gets higher and the better drivers come into their own then!

      So in the 15+ years I have been watching, either rain has got heavier and made driving conditions much worse…or the sport has gone too far the other way when it comes to safety, controversial though that may sound the teams always look for the situation that suits them best. This qquote from Christian Horner being an incredible example “It would be unfair to do that because you navigate your way trough that first session.
      “It’s not about setting purple [fastest] sectors; it’s about surviving it. A fairer way would be to do it on car number… They have made the right call.

      Read that how you like (that is from the BBC website this morning by the way) but I read it as: “We have a car advantage in the dry so we want to qualify in the dry”

      I love F1 and I always will be a hardcore fan of it, but they will never attract casual fans when they keep shooting themselves in the foot by over complicating quite simple problems

      • markp said on 16th March 2013, 11:23

        And his cars are numbers 1 and 2. So last years constructors would be fairer than part of an actual session that has taken place.

      • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 17:17

        @aledinho

        I am glad that you understand my point & simple solution to the problem & I am in agreement with your analysis of how rain shy F1 has become recently. No one wants to see drivers getting seriously hurt racing in undriveable conditions but the cars & tires should be able to cope with a certain amount of standing water and still have a race on our hands.

        1st thing revert back to the old time system with local track time the same at all grand prix & it won’t solve the rain issue but it will certainly help if & when sessions are delayed due to it.

        Don’t anyone analyse this as it’s a simple ask even though I know what the sponsors wants & gets is not the same thing as the fans or sensibility

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