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. Hallard (@hallard) said on 16th March 2013, 9:00

    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.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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. :)

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

  4. Bosley (@bosley) said on 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.

  5. 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?

  6. Chemakal said on 16th March 2013, 9:34

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

  7. David not Coulthard (@) said on 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!

  8. Chainsaw (@chainsaw) said on 16th March 2013, 9:42

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

  9. Girts (@girts) said on 16th March 2013, 9:49

    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.

  10. Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 16th March 2013, 9:57

    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.

  11. David not Coulthard (@) said on 16th March 2013, 9:59

    …..So where is the logic?

    Especially with Europe losing more and more of it’s races?

  12. markp said on 16th March 2013, 10:15

    I have not heard from anyone there saying it should have gone ahead only that ut shouldn’t. I take their wird iver thise sat at home thousands of miles away whos tv pic makes it look ok. rain plus debri plus slippery lines is dangerous. i am sure we could drive our road cars round it but who cares it would be like usain bolt doing the 100m in a muddy field uf qualu went ahead.

    Good decision by reports from those that are there. for those that are angry load up your ps3 and do a wet race on your f1 games thats brave.

  13. K0V4LA1NEN said on 16th March 2013, 10:19

    put the rain delays aside, why don’t they turn it into an abu dhabi race and have it day night, or is it bcause they are a street circuit they can’t get those types of lighting, just wondering as they do run their quali and race times rather tight with the sunset.

  14. Roger Matthews said on 16th March 2013, 11:24

    Why not send all the cars out for a few slow laps behind the safety car. Probably five laps would dry the circuit enough to run qualifying on wets. Much more efficient than brooms!!

  15. Why not split the season into four phases. Europe | Asia | Europe | Americas

    This would give multiple advantages.

    Firstly, European testing would be more directly relevant for the start of season races, and would probably alter testing so that the end of testing was actually greater race preparation. European testing needs to be kept, because the cost of flyaway testing is prohibitive.

    Secondly, there aren’t two trips to Asia so long haul logistics are reduced, and the associated cost. This probably entails a development slow down, as the racing team is consistently on the go, and the back markers may suffer a little for this, but I don’t see this as being a huge obstacle, as it is generally the European legs which see the most development anyway.

    Thirdly, the times of races wouldn’t have to be played about too much. The core European audience has got it’s season opener, and the other countries should be allowed flexibility to show the races either at local time, or at a time when they wish to appeal to a global market.

    The third point comes with a question? What is the point of running an F1 race? I am sure, that for the Italians, Germans and British, and probably for the French, it is the history, the sport, and the event. The fact that the British Grand Prix is a commercially independent outfit tells us that. Our government does not want the GP enough to aid payment, etc. but masses of other races do, if not all of them. Why do they do this? Is it to put their country on show to the worldwide audience only? Is F1 outside of europe jut a big marketing ploy?

    I suspect it is, and that, given the choice, the Aus GP promoters and government organisations involved would actually prefer the timeslot they have to maximise the worldwide audience, rather than having their own GP for the sake of the event, and maximising their own benefit out of it.

    In fact, I’ll come out and say it. I don’t see the point of the Australian GP. Why do they need it? They have one of the finest series of motorsports in the world, and in the Mount Panorama: a track which every motorsport fan should get to know and love across the world. Along with Laguna Seca and Nordschliefe, it forms my perfect triumvarate of racing tracks. So why not shove the GP and get promoting V8s and the Bathurst 1000 to a worldwide audience instead???

    Well, I’ve blathered on enough, and I’m on the verge of my two most distressing topics: F1 politics and money & lack of support for motorsports in general. (It’s cheap! and I guarantee there is a local race somewhere near you… Go see it. It’s not f1, but it’s great fun)

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