Whiting stops quali 2 action
RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY... Spectators at Silverstone for 2012 GP qualifying camp out under umbrellas as the rain pours down. Image: AFP
Silverstone, England - The second session of qualifying for the British Formula 1 GP has been suspended - but was it the right decision?
A torrential downpour started with just over six minutes of the second qualifying session left but should Charlie Whiting, the race director, have made such a call?
FLASH: Qualifying restarted at 4.06pm SA time at Silverstone to run out the "owed" six minutes.
Commentators at the track were divided on what should have happened, with the swing toward letting the session run to the end and leaving it up to teams to stay out in the rain or come into the pits and hope their times were good enough.
Alternatively, should the timing have continued, a massive accident could have happened and perhaps destroyed the already devastated Silverstone weekend completely. Cars were aquaplaning off the track - even "rainmeister" Michael Schumacher couldn't keep things together; Fernando Alonso came very close to hitting a wall after running out on to the grass.
At 3pm, the rain was still pouring and race control said a 10-minute warning would be given for any restart.
Whiting told BBC TV: "We are clearing the water continuously and
according to the weather forecast we should be able to restart around
3pm (4pm SA time)."
The puzzle was how the standing water could be cleared when the rain was still pouring down.
As it stood when the red flags came out, the order was Perez, Hamilton, Rosberg, Vergne, Hulkenburg, Raillonen, Webber, Ricciardo, Vettel, Maldonado, Di Resta, Grosjean, Schumacher Massa, Alonso and Senna.
Should the day collapse altogether and times go back to those from third
practice, the times are below - which would make for one helluva interesting race - just check how it would start!
It was also suggested that qualifying
could be delayed until Sunday morning but meanwhile, the only entertainment on the track was the Mercedes medical car doing laps
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Times from third practice for the 2012 British F1 GP on July 7
1 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min32.167
2 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min32.320
3 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min32.358
4 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min32.420
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min32.454
6 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min32.477
7 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min32.622
8 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1min32.940
9 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min33.046
10 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min33.150
11 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 1min33.267
12 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min33.367
13 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min33.398
14 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min33.462
15 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min33.673
16 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min33.674
17 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min33.707
18 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min33.733
19 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min34.298
20 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 1min34.781
21 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1min36.605
22 Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1min37.060
23 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min37.269
24 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1min37.429