Australian GP qualifying postponed to Sunday

2013 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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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Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

152 comments on “Australian GP qualifying postponed to Sunday”

  1. Well i think this is fantastic as my prediction of a 1:25 pole time was looking mighty unlikely :)

  2. Yeah I,m very dissapointed with F1 today, they really should have got qualy done I think.

  3. Keith can you make a poll on this one.

    Should the non European races start at usual local time?

    I am sure that most fans would choose to get up early to avoid this reoccurring problem then you can send this to FOM or FIA whoever is responsible plus FOTA if that is still going.

    Power to the people

    1. What will a poll here make a difference… THe mindset of people need to change… For example look up for comments from Martin (@aardvark) and Martin (@andone89

  4. The late start time has backfired again, it always leaves them vulnerable to running out of light if the conditions are anything but perfect.
    While they can’t be blamed for the weather in Melbourne, they should’ve taken it into account (Melbourne having somewhat of a reputation for it’s changeable weather).

    This goes for all the other rounds in Asia.
    Late starts for Malaysia are the most stupid of all, as afternoon thunderstorms are like clockwork there.
    There was a narrow escape in Korea a couple of years ago, which could’ve been avoided completely by an earlier starting time.

    If they are worried about losing viewers in Europe, they need to re broadcast the race at something like 9am local time. I’m sure a lot of people will be able to put themselves on media blackout for the short period of time they have between waking up and watching the race.

    1. @davids “If they are worried about losing viewers in Europe, they need to re broadcast the race at something like 9am local time. I’m sure a lot of people will be able to put themselves on media blackout for the short period of time they have between waking up and watching the race.”

      My thoughts exactly & a very reasonable solution. Gives the fans the choice. Get out of bed early or watch a replay & avoid the media to watch a full replay at a usual hour

      1. As a European fan myself, while its nice and comfy for me to get up at 6-7 and have a day to do something after qualy or the race is comfortable, before that it had the excitement of making it a special night for the start of the season.
        I wouldn’t stop watching at all if it changed back to an earlier start.

  5. Great i’m not going to sleep this night too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. David not Coulthard (@)
      16th March 2013, 9:38

      I’d suggest that you do go to sleep and have an alarm clock phone wake you up when Q2 starts. I always do that when the race is in Canada, the US, or Brazil (although I tend not to wake up when the alarm rings)

      1. Thanks for the advice

        although I tend not to wake up when the alarm rings

        same for me

  6. When was the last time qualification has been postponed after completing Q1 or Q2? Has this ever happened before?

    To be honest, I’m quite pleased with this decision. I’ve been at work all morning and I’ve been trying to follow qualification via F1Fanatic Live and SMSing with my father (none of the live feeds or live timing apps seem to work in my Nokia Lumia). Now I’ll be able to watch Q2 and Q3 atleast!

    1. No, this is a new occurrence for F1. In Japan 2004 and 2010 the whole of qualifying was moved to Sunday morning due to the weather, but we’ve never got halfway through a session and then postponed the rest until the following day.

      1. You can also include the race in Malaysia that was canceled just over half distance in 09.

        The point being it is becoming a reoccurring issue that sessions are being canceled or rescheduled due to daylight hours for the sake of European viewers.

        Simple solution that I’m sure everyone would be happy with is to have all races at usual local time & show them live with a full re run at a delayed hour for countries well out of the local time zone of that particular race

    2. @hotbottoms Oh boy, the new F1 app is not supported by Lumia… btw junk the Windows OS and get into either Android or iOS…they are much bettter

  7. Dion (@infinitygc)
    16th March 2013, 8:43

    On a different note, Van Der Garde and Pic seem to be a lot better matched than anticipated. And I’m not talking about front wing damage!

    1. Dion (@infinitygc)
      16th March 2013, 8:44

      ‘a lot better’ as in ‘more evenly’, sorry!

  8. Are the teams allowed to work on their cars for tomorrow ?

    1. @zaakir No, they are in parc ferme conditions…

  9. ridiculous. a dry qualy will now mean normal grid order…

    1. @sato113 Normal as in RBR on pole?? Many people dont want that.. Btw they were on top in Q1…

  10. Looks like someone has to compromise. Its not going to be sponsors, because they’ve got too much money. So its us, and the teams, and the drivers, and the officials and the people in the stands, and buying tickets and Sky subscriptions.

    Its ironic that the session starts late ‘to accommodate European viewers’, some of which are complaining that they had to get up early anyway. Dedicated fans will watch it live if they want to, whether its on a 1am or 5am. The rest will watch the replay. Some will do both. I see no reason to have a halfway house that limits the practicability of actually racing.

  11. I really think that Pirelli should improve on their full wet tires, so that they can handle much more water. I know that Q2 was postponed largely due to daylight (or lack thereof) conditions, but the Bridgestone full wets in 09 and 10 seemed much more capable of handling even the heaviest of rain, without safety car or red flag intervention.

    1. @hallard It was more due to standing water and poor light… Pirelli tyres displace 100 litres of water per second on Cintuarto Blue at a race speeds…

  12. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    16th March 2013, 9:03

    In a way, I’m kind of glad that its been postponed. Because if its dry tomorrow, then we’ll get to see the true pace of the cars.
    And it also means we’ll get a double dose, Q2, Q3 and the race. :)

  13. Webber’s thinking: “Welcome to Australia guys.”

    1. @aish I loved Webber’s stroll through the park (when he was on the grass)

  14. Anthony Bosley (@)
    16th March 2013, 9:13

    I personally feel like they should have restarted the entirety of Qualifying for tomorrow, i’m sure at least one of the drivers (Maldonado) would be complaining about how he had to do qualifying in the horrid conditions while everyone else gets a dry track to play with tomorrow.

    1. Should they also restart every race that gets red flagged from the beginning? Clown

      1. Hey there, what’s up with calling people “Clown”? Trying to live up to your namesake’s level of intelligence or what?

        1. @maciek

          I happened to think his opinion, in my opinion was a joke hence I used the word clown. I didn’t think it needed to be justified.

          As regards to my name then I assume you are questioning the intelligence of my parents? Would you like to come round for tea & biscuits then browse through the family tree for the origins?

    2. But why would he do that? The 21 other drivers all competed in the exact same conditions.

    3. i thought that to but on the plus side for the eliminated drivers they have extra dry tyres for the race.

  15. Why not change the rules (if needed) and give for good the positions after the latest quali session run, Q1 today, when conditions are so bad?

  16. Too conservative Mr. Whiting. Next: cancellation of all contracts with circuits for 2015, races will be held in indoor circuits only

  17. David not Coulthard (@)
    16th March 2013, 9:41

    Is this the longest quali ever seen in the World Championship F1 ever in it’s current or past format(s)? It started on a Saturday and it’ll end on the Sunday! That’s longer than the GP!

  18. It was amusing to see Lewis Hamilton doing a reverse on the track… Haven’t seen that for quite a while in F1…

  19. I cannot say if the weather conditions were good enough to drive or not. It’s a pity that qualifying sessions and races get postponed or stopped because of rain more often nowadays. However, drivers shouldn’t be put in jeopardy just because fans want action so, if the weather considerably increases the safety risks, then we should wait until gets better.

    But the fact that the qualifying couldn’t take place today just because it was getting too dark is unacceptable and a shame for the sport. I’ve always believed that it was silly and useless to move the starting time to make it more acceptable for the European TV spectators.

    Firstly, there are F1 fans all over the world and it seems that F1 is actually trying hard to conquer new markets all the time, so where is the logic? Secondly, I find it hard to believe that many casual fans will bother to get up to watch the race, let alone the qualifying on a Saturday morning just because it starts on 6 AM or 7 AM instead of 3 AM or 4 AM. The hardcore F1 fanatics mostly love getting up in the middle of the night and the passers-by will sleep until 9 AM or so anyway.

    And, even if F1 gains a few million additional spectators this way, the damage done by mornings like this one, when all the fans are left disappointed, is bigger than that.

  20. I’ve decided that this is a conspiracy against Lewis Hamilton. I have no evidence for this. I’ve just decided that its so because Lewis is SO hard done by.

    1. @bendana Ha ha ha, you made my day… Waiting for comments from hardc0re Crashilton fans…

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