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

  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2013, 8:04

    The original delay to Q1 was correct, in my opinion, as it was just far too wet.

    The way the FIA handled things after Q1 finished, however, was stupid. It wasn’t excessively wet and delaying a session to try and ‘miss’ a rain shower was just asking for trouble. They should’ve started the session and red flagged it if and when it got too dangerous.

    Also, this is another farcical qualifying session that could’ve been avoided if Bernie stopped insisting that flyaway races schedule their weekends in a way that is designed to maximise European viewing figures. Yes, Bernie, the European viewers got up at a slightly more convenient time, but we didn’t get to watch a qualifying session – we watched a farce.

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

      @magnificent-geoffrey

      The original delay to Q1 was correct, in my opinion, as it was just far too wet.

      Nowhere near as wet as Silverstone 2008 or Korea 2010.

      DC said that the cutt-off time between Inters and Full Wets would be a 1:47. Rosberg, on his first lap, did a 1:48.024.

      In other words, in F1 today, Wets are virtually useless and shouldn’t be developed at all. They red flag/SC/cancel the event as soon as Inters can’t handle the situation anymore.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2013, 8:19

        @kingshark Not as wet? Maybe. Nowhere near? I disagree.

        Albert Park, unlike Silverstone or Korea, is a street circuit, not a purpose built racing facility where the track is designed to accelerate drainage. There are also white lines everywhere, which make it even more slippery. When there’s a real danger of the cars aquaplaning and the drivers losing control on a straight, that’s legitimately ‘too wet’ for me.

      • Chainsaw (@chainsaw) said on 16th March 2013, 9:28

        Silverstone 2012 was wet too..why isnt anyone talking abt that…

  2. Oblong_Cheese (@oblong_cheese) said on 16th March 2013, 8:05

    Do not forget that the TV footage made conditions appear much brighter than they actually were. Qualifying was post-poned due to fading light, not due to conditions.

    However, I don’t really mind. I live in Australia, so a morning qualifying session will be a welcome change.

    Harden up, Europe!

  3. Martin (@aardvark) said on 16th March 2013, 8:08

    Exciting while it lasted, but I am NOT getting up at 2:00 am to watch Q2 and Q3.

  4. William (@william) said on 16th March 2013, 8:09

    There is expected showers forecast, partly cloudy for Q2 and Q3
    http://www.accuweather.com/en/au/melbourne/26216/hourly-weather-forecast/26216?hour=41

  5. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 16th March 2013, 8:10

    So the McLarens made it to Q2 ? I am positively surprised !

  6. badger (@badger) said on 16th March 2013, 8:11

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

  7. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 16th March 2013, 8:12

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

  8. Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 8:12

    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

  9. DavidS (@davids) said on 16th March 2013, 8:12

    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.

    • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 8:18

      @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

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2013, 8:40

        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.

  10. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 16th March 2013, 8:17

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

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 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)

  11. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 16th March 2013, 8:21

    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!

    • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 16th March 2013, 8:28

      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.

      • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 16th March 2013, 8:44

        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

    • Chainsaw (@chainsaw) said on 16th March 2013, 9:35

      @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

  12. Dion (@infinitygc) said on 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!

  13. zaakir (@zaakir) said on 16th March 2013, 8:44

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

  14. sato113 (@sato113) said on 16th March 2013, 8:49

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

  15. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 16th March 2013, 8:54

    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.

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