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Australian GP qualifying postponed

2013-03-16 10:02

OZ QUALIFYING WASHOUT: Organisers of the Australian Grand Prix have postponed qualifying to Sunday, March 17 due to severe rain and crash delays.

MELBOURNE, Australia - Pouring rain and several crashes has resulted in the qualifying round of the 2013 Australian Grand Prix to be postponed to Sunday, March 17.

Rain pelted down on the Albert park circuit delaying qualifying. Once qualifying got under way a number of drivers soon found themselves slipping off track and crashing into debris and barriers.


Steady rain made for chaotic driving conditions in first 20-minute session before the six slowest drivers were eliminated, leaving 16 drivers to continue to the second session.

Drivers were forced to sit in their team garages in the pit lane waiting for the rain to ease before the decision came to postpone qualifying.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was fastest during Q1 followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Lotus' Romain Grosjean.

Williams' Pastor Maldonado and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez were among six drivers eliminated along with Marussia duo Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi.

Caterham's Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic were also eliminated.


McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was among those urging stewards to base the grid on Q1 times; unsurprisingly as his drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button performed above expectation in the sodden session by setting the fourth and eighth-fastest times respectively.

Whitmarsh said: "The stewards can decide the grid based what has already happened or decide to run Q2 and Q3 tomorrow. However, it's a very busy program tomorrow and I'm sure some of the historic events won't be pleased if they are moved."

Hamilton spun his Mercedes at Turn 2, glanced the wall and came to a stop but was able to reverse his car and rejoin the session, suffering some rear wing end plate damage.

Perez showed great skill when avoiding sliding into the barriers.

Qualifying will now start six hours before the season-opening race on Melbourne's Albert Park street circuit. Second and third qualifying sessions will take place from 02:00am (SA local time).

2013 Australian Grand Prix: Qualifying session 1
1  Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min43.380 
2  Fernando Alonso (Spain  Ferrari   1min43.850 
3  Romain Grosjean (France)  Lotus    1min44.284 
4  Sergio Perez (Mexico)  McLaren   1min44.300 
5  Mark Webber (Australia)  Red Bull  1min44.472 
6  Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari   1min44.635 
7  Sebastian Vettel (Germany)  Red Bull 1min44.657 
8  Jenson Button (Britain)  McLaren 1min44.688 
9  Jean-Eric Vergne (France)  Toro Rosso - 1min44.871 
10 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes  1min45.456 
11 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland)   Lotus  1min45.545 
12 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - Mercedes 1min45.601 
13 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany)  Sauber - Ferrari       1min45.930 
14 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)  Toro Rosso - Ferrari   1min46.450 
15 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams1min47.328 
16 Adrian Sutil (Germany)   Force India - Mercedes 1min47.330 
17 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams   1min47.614 
18 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari  1min47.776 
19 Jules Bianchi (France)   Marussia   1min48.147 
20 Max Chilton (Britain)  Marussia   1min48.909 
21 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 1min49.519 
22 Charles Pic (France)   Caterham 1min50.626
First practice
Second practice
Third practice
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.

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