Japanese GP qualifying postponed

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Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix will not take place today after hours of heavy rain made it impossible for the session to be run.

The session is now expected to take place at 10am local time tomorrow morning to set the grid for the race, which will start just four hours after the postponed session is scheduled to end.

This is the second time in five races at Suzuka that qualifying has been postponed to Sunday. In 2004 the approaching typhoon Ma-on led the race organisers to hold qualifying on Sunday instead of Saturday.

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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103 comments on “Japanese GP qualifying postponed”

  1. Any word on who will be doing what as far as coverage in different countries? I have a feeling us Australians will be missing out…

    1. One HD is likely to cut away from the Commonwealth Games coverage, as they are running it on both One and Ten.

      Looks like there’s some mixed priorities tomorrow, as both sessions of F1 conflict with Bathurst.

    2. SPEED said something about qualifying being a couple hours before the live race, so it doesn’t sound like they’ll be showing it live, unless of course there’s only an hour gap between qualifying and race…

      1. Speed coverage has race at 2 am ET (prerace at 1:30) with taped quali midnight to 1:30 am ET. So much for having some coverage in primetime here in the states.

        1. F1 is the redheaded stepdog of SPEED. They’ll probably be busy showing a repeat of a NASCAR race.

          1. So sad for us here in OZ all due to some stupid games being held in India. Blah I think we wont get live coverage.

          2. Ahh, remember the days of speedvision! Atleeast its not espn. I remember watching the portugal race at 8 pm eastern time. I don’t think that was live! LMAO

          3. Well, at least we have the internet these days… I hope a feed shows up somewhere so I can join in the live blog for qualifying this evening.

    3. ONEHD says on their forums that it will be shown live and they’re just waiting for confirmation from the stewards that it’ll start at 12pm AEDT

      1. I’m often critical of ONE, but if what you say is indeed the case, Then I applued it loudly.

      2. Yep… It’s confirmed by ONEHD on their forum http://ten.com.au/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=119639&start=270&tstart=0 Qualify live from 12pm AEDST

        1. Looks like they’ve updated the TV EPG also. Doesn’t seem to have been updated on the website.

  2. Something that u cant see often :)

    1. I would have lived without! I woke up at 7am only to see two hours of interviews and three SC laps.

  3. No Quarter (@)
    9th October 2010, 7:25

    I think this is a record of sorts for suzuka, for being the only circuit in F1 to have quali postponed twice to sunday?

  4. Vettel said on German Sky Sport, that they only know, that it will be tomorrow! But as it will rain in the morning and only dry afterward the time is not defintely confirmed.
    According to Sky, Horner confirmed them, that the FIA will definitely confirm the startTIME of qualifying to them by MAIL!

    1. They’ll get a postcard sometime next week telling them when they should’ve been there.

      1. LOL, they might be spending some time on the beach.

  5. Wouldn’t the race be starting around 4 hours after quali, not 6?

    Race is scheduled for 1500 (3pm), quali would finish around 1100.

    1. Yes – fixed it!

  6. George Suddaby
    9th October 2010, 7:32

    Oh my. Another early morning then :\ a bit peeved really that i woke up for nothing >:/ ah well. ill get over it ;)

  7. 10am jst is 9pm eastern us. speed will not be showing qualifying live, but tape-delayed until 11pm edt. race coverage is live starting at 12:30am edt.

    1. I think you’ve got that all an hour early. It’s qualifying at midnight Eastern, prerace at 1:30. At least that’s what Will Buxton twooted.

      1. indeed. stupid time zones

  8. Not even worth getting up to watch Lee Mckenzie Present the show :)

    1. Oh I dunno, it was a saving grace!

      1. thats what I meant only it appeared a bit wrong had it been jake i’d have gone back to bed :)

    1. Impossible to say anything conclusively – it’s only two frames playing back and forth. For all we know, the car hit a bump, which vibrated through the front wing, causing it to ‘flex’.

    2. Isn’t that an older animation though?

      1. I remember it from the Autosport forum and it’s supposed to show that the tip of the nose actually flexes.

      2. The first one looks a lot like Vettel’s crash into Button at Spa.

    3. In the first one, the nose doesn’t physically move. It’s just the changing reflections that give that impression.

      1. look at the endplates

      2. such a div, thats what the black line is for to show the deflection irrespective of the reflections

    4. MercedesBeenz PKA ExParot
      9th October 2010, 11:21

      Thank you No Quarter. This really does make a mockery of the FIA regulation; no wonder the Red Bulls have been cleaning up in qualifying and sort of puts Vettels weird accidents in perspective, especially Turkey and Belgium!

      I can’t believe they’re getting away with this. Last year the FIA revised the rules in Brawns favour over the D/Difuser and now this!

    5. I really, honestly don’t understand why people continuously keep crying about Red Bull’s front wing endplates (and no, I don’t support Red Bull nor either of their drivers).

      The rules regarding flexing, just like any of the other rules, are both set and enforced by artificially created circumstances and tests. Flexing of the front wing endplates is both defined and tested in a way that Red Bull manages to design and have their car pass in something that is legit according to the FIA’s demands regarding ‘flexing’.

      Saying the FIA is doing a bad job enforcing their rules based on blurry video footage and your personal interpretation of the rules (not the actual parameters by which these rules are governed) reminds me of all the conspiracy theories regarding the moon landing.

      It is absolutely no different from last years double diffusers being ‘against the spirit of the rules’. You’re confusing your interpretation (or ‘spirit’) with the actual rules and system by which they are governed. And the FIA would only make a mockery out of itself if they change rules to fit some kind of dogmatic idea of ‘spirit’. These people are highly talented and experienced engineers, it is their very job to do the best possible job within on one side the undeniable laws of physics, and on the other the artificially created means to level out the field.

      Toyota was moved to the back of the grid last year not because they broke ‘the spirit’ or camera’s catching their rear wings flexing, but because they didn’t pass the test designed to verify legality.

      I support a driver from another team, but I blame the team he drives for for not building a fast enough car to catch the vastly superior Red Bull, which the ever increasing magnifying glass has yet to rule illegal.

  9. This Tweet a few minutes ago from Slater.

    steveslaterF1 Steve Slater
    Yes we will be showing qualifying live!!

    So I guess Star will be broadcasting Q.

    1. No Quarter (@)
      9th October 2010, 7:48

      is this qualifying in canada too?

      1. I don’t know about Canada, I’m in Bangkok. I guessing that it will be here and there according to Slaters remark.

      2. F1 is covered by TSN in Canada, so I would just tune in at 9pm Eastern Time and see if it’s on. Might be on TSN2 since it’s a rescheduled broadcast.

      3. I did find this from Will Buxton for Speed viewers

        willbuxton Will Buxton
        For all the SPEED viewers asking about qualifying, it will be shown at Midnight eastern time, I believe, with the race following at 01:30

      4. TSN website says that qualifying will air at 9 pm e.t/6 pm p.t, so hopefully…

        1. Live, 9pm EST, on TSN2. (Not the main TSN channel)

          1. Ah, must be blind, didn’t notice the “2”. Cheers.

  10. How many hours difference is Suzuka from the UK? What time will that make quali our time?

    My rough guess says 2am…is this right??

    1. They announced a 2am UK start time at the end of the (non)qualifying coverage.

    2. 8 hours with dst (normally should be 9 hours).

      If the quali is on 10am local time, it should be on 2am at UK.

  11. So lucky for me,I slept in!

  12. Am I right in that qualy will be 2am BST with the race starting at 7am BST? Just glad i am off work Monday HUGE lie in I think.
    Keith any pictures of the boat race? LOL

  13. Younger Hamilton
    9th October 2010, 8:32

    I woke up late for Quali thank god it rained but unfortunately i’ve got to stay up until 2am to see quali then sleep and wake up again for the race at 5am

    1. Iced coffee is the answer. Seriously – get your hands on a 500mL bottle and it will keep you up all night.

  14. Probability of precipitation is only at 30-40% for 9-12 am of tomorrow . I think both qualy and race will be on dry track !

    1. yeah but it doesn;t have to be raining at the time, track could still be wet from a heavy night of rain…

      1. I’m hope you’re right , otherwise we’ll see boring Red Bull one-two start and arrive .

  15. Got a problem. Tomorrow morning our football national team is playing friendly match with USA. It’s starting at 2 am. One hour later we have Q begining. . . Damn

  16. Busy day Tomorrow:

    See start of Bathurst 10:30 am

    Qualifying ?

    Race starts 4pm

    Watch Holden win Bathurst 5 pm-ish

    See Webber win 5:40-ish

    MotoGP – see Stoner or Rossi win 6pm

    and fit in some Year 12 homework somewhere…

    1. Exactly the same here – just replace 12 with 11… :P

      1. also replace Holden with Ford :)

        1. why? Stretch’s post is perfect :)

          1. Thank god for TiVo, or else I’d be in a pickle as to what to watch & when !

  17. They said 2am uk time but nothing has come up on the freesat guide yet. Think I’ll be recording both then watching with the phone on silent when I get up about 7. I used to always get up but once you have young kids sleep time is like gold dust.

  18. Does anybody knows what if qualifying r posponed again? What rules say in this case?

    1. rule experts where r you :)?

    2. i’ve read that if qualifying is impossible tomorrow, starting grid will be based on car numbers.
      So we’ll have:
      1- Button
      2- Hamilton
      3- Schumacher
      4- Rosberg

      Can anyone confirm that?

      1. Yes – see these comments earlier:


        But keep in mind it’s pretty unlikely to have a situation where qualifying is impossible but a race scheduled to start five hours can go ahead.

        1. ok, thanks!
          Luckily, it seems that weather will be good tomorrow… http://www.myweather2.com/Motor-Racing/Japan/Suzuka-Circuit.aspx?sday=1

        2. I think this method isn’t good because Schumacher would start 3rd, which he never has done this year. I think the order should be the one of the drivers’ championship standings: Webber, Alonso…

          1. I think that is pretty good though. Makes Alonso fight for it with the RBR guys (and Hamilton after his penalty), Kubica coming from behind as well.

            Button will have his hands full to keep Schumi/Rosberg behind at the start, although they will be slower after that. Then he will have to defend from all these guys hunting for his lead.

      2. That is correct, if a bit ill conceived. Even as a McLaren fan, it would seem fairer to me to start the cars in order of driver’s or team’s current points. Hopefully they’ll get qualy in.

      3. It would be based on the standings in the current championship,so:
        1. Webber
        2. Alonso
        3. Button
        and so on

        1. That’s not what it says in the rules – see the link above.

    3. Keith u r Number 1 in Formula world!!!

      1. No, Jenson Button is Number 1…

  19. Will the race be over in time for the bathurst 1000 to start because if it isn’t f1 will be off and bathurst is on !!! Go FORD !!!!!!!

  20. Any knows when the race will start on TV? I’m from Belgium.

    1. 8:00 AM for Central Europe.

  21. well done! An exciting race has just been turned into a boring sebastian led red bull 1 -2, i was looking forward to a good race, but i think thats out the window now!

  22. Does anyone know if Star Sports is provoding the quali. coverage and if yes, at wat time ?
    I tried logging onto Espnstar.com but there is no info.

    1. I have no information but they did tell us that they will show quali live but their tv schedule page isn’t showing any sign of that.

      1. Yes. They are set to show the repeat telecast of Quali at 3:30 AM on 10th oct.

        But the quali is scheduled at 6:30 AM India time. I will wake up at 6:30 and check if its showing live. Otherwse, I ll directly watch the race :(

  23. how come this didn’t happen in brazil 2009 qualy?

    1. The rain eased enough for them to run the session.

    2. The Brazilian quali lasted for 2 hours and 41 minutes but still there were some natural light available for the session to go on & this time it rained for a longer period of time then it did back then.

  24. What happens if its too much rain tommorow? GP cancelled?

    1. Some time ago (probably 2009) in MotoGp, the Qatar race was postponed on Monday due to heavy rain. i don’t know whether this is possible in F1, that time it was a gentlemen’s agreement between teams, circuit owners and Dorna.

  25. I woke up at 5 this morning only to tune into a bunch of wussies winging about some rain. These guy r supposed to be the best in the world and capable of driving in all conditions. Sure we all want a safe race but please come on!!! Credit only to Sebastian Buemi who was the only one of two drivers along with Alguesuari to brave the conditions. In an interview with the BBC Buemi actually said that up to 90mph it was safe and drivable. Y is it that these drivers either race at 200mph or dont race at all? Times have obviously changed for the worse since Nurburgring 2007. Im really gutted because we could have seen a REAL mixed up grid for tomorrow, instead now if tomorrow id dry (and the indications are that they will be) it will be a boring redbull domination. I feel sorry for the Japanese fans that couldn’t afford a Sunday race ticket and bought a saturday qualy ticket hoping to see some action but now they havent seen anything at all…i wonder if they’ll get a refund or something. I didnt mind waking up at 5 (i’m a hardcore F1 fan and have been so for years). Tomorrow I will have to make an extra effort tho…BBC are screening qualifying live at 1:50 am and the buildup of the race is at 5. I’ll be there religiously as usual!!!

    1. Credit only to Sebastian Buemi who was the only one of two drivers along with Alguesuari to brave the conditions.

      Both McLarens and Kubica also went out around the same time. Probably some others too.

  26. I still remember that in 2004 I woke up to watch the quali only to find out that they were showing replay of some old race in that year.I thought myself that may be I missed it or today it wasn’t schedule as in those days I was now were near to internet.6 years later something similar happened. For Bangladeshi viewer if there are any, it will take place 7 am in the morning, but can anyone from India confirmed that whether Star Sports will show it live as tv listing page says NO.

  27. Antifia if qualy is aborted tomorrow (highly unlikely), current rules state that number 1 and number 2 cars will start at front (button and hamilton i think), however hamilton has changed his gearbox and incurred a 5 place penalty

    1. Lol, Schumacher on the front row…

      1. That’ll be 2nd row then…

        1. I’ll read the post before replying next time :P

          Yes 1st row lol… I won’t happen though.

          They’ll draw straws!

  28. The forecast is for 100 to 60 percent rain through the morning. Considering the track will already be soaked, the car number scenario could be in the cards for startig position.

    This estimation will be key to the set up. If you expect another wash-out you do a full-dry set up. If qualifying does go through it will be a tough call. In Hamiltons position now he may want to go for the dry set up.

  29. I believe if no qualifying is possible before the race then the cars will line up in numerical order. So:

    1. Button (by virtue of being WC)
    2. Schumacher (who had the foresight to get Rosberg to give him the number)
    3. Rosberg (who like Shumacher signed for last years winning constructor Brawn, well kind of)
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber (both of which helped Red Bull achieve that position (though ahead of McLaren) that gave them these numbers.
    6. Massa (who drove for Ferrari last year and hence got the lower number)
    7. 2. Hamilton (by virtue of happening to be Button’s teammate and having a 5 place gearbox penalty)
    8. Alonso (if he’d stayed with Renault he’d be 11th).
    9. Barrichello
    10. Hulkenberg

    Ok, so given that this is the rule. It does makes some kind of sense for constructors to get the numbers in order, it also seems fair that only the WC gets No. 1.* But why does the WC’s team-mate automatically get No. 2? I’ve never thought that was fair.

    (*If the WC doesn’t compete the winning constructor gets 0 and 2)

    1. Although the teams number 1 driver in that situation gets 2 and the number 2 driver get the 0. I wonder whether the grid would go 2,0,3,4,5 and so on?

      1. I just think they should reserve 1 for the WC and then start the numbering for the constructors from 2 & 3, 4 & 5, etc. until you get to the team with the WC and then they would be 1 & 6 for example, and the next team would be 7 & 8.

  30. I’m almost hoping that quali doesn’t go ahead and that we do get the numerical order grid. Would make for a cracking race – especially if the track is still damp!!

  31. Chances of rain at the qualifying are of 50%, at the race 40% with strong gusting. Track almost surely damp during the whole Sunday. Looking good for your wishes so far Adrian!

    1. Thats the chances of there being any rain during the sessions, not the chances of another complete washout, which is far lower than 50%.

      1. I know lol. But chances are the soil and the drainage system is saturated already so any rain is enough to stop the whole thing.

  32. In Canada the qualy is on live TSN2 at 7:00 pm MST.
    Taped on Speed Channel at 10:00 pm MST

    1. Q could go at 11:30pm EST SAT. , race at 2am EST Sunday morning…but you maybe right i’ll try 9pm EST TSN2.

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