Australian GP qualifying postponed to Sunday

2013 Australian Grand Prix

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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

17Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’47.614
18Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’47.776
19Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’48.147
20Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’48.909
21Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’49.519
22Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’50.626

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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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  • 152 comments on “Australian GP qualifying postponed to Sunday”

    1. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
      16th March 2013, 7:53

      I’m not too dissapointed to be honest even though I have been up since three o’ clock. Q1 was terrific with lots of excitement and now we have something to look forward to tonight and tomorrow morning.

      1. Q1 was great. But had they not waited 20 minutes for a rainstorm to come, they could have gotten Q2 done with too. Not to mention that FIA and FOM should give some thoughts to making driving possible even with some rain at these tracks really.

        If standing water is the problem – put in drainage, at least in the worst places. If the black paint over the white stripes matters, that can be cured too, can’t it. And cars can be made to sit higher as well, to make them less risky for aquaplaning off.
        Or just tender the next tyre contract without wet tyres, save some money and stop saying F1 does go on when its wet.

        1. Standing water will always occur at the same place. The locations are well known. I don’t know why they don’t build extra drainage at these points.

          1. Problem is, if you want drainage points, you’re going to have to tear things up to install those drainage points… use gutters (on a racetrack?!!) or have a god aweful bumpy track…

        2. The full wets do make the ride heights higher, they raise them ~.25 of an inch according to Brundle. The problem with raising them higher simply becomes that you lose more and more downforce, so that even though they aren’t aquaplaning, the grip levels are nowhere near what they would be and the aero balance is also probably way off so that cars under/oversteer terribly.

          I’m not sure how the FIA can get faulted for being too cautious in this situation. When Q1 did take place, plenty of drivers had offs so it’s not like they waited much too long (as they have done the past few wet races with the SC). Between sessions it poured down and was roughly what it was before Q1, and apparently windier such that there would be less downforce into turns 1-3. So it was either send people out and just have chaos as there was good possibility for half the field to crash, like Nurburgring 2007, or wait to see if it could happen. The downside of the waiting wasn’t even a cancellation like it would be for a race, just moving the session to tomorrow. Seems like a no brainer to me.

          1. @darak Phew, I was starting to think I was the only one with this opinion.

          2. @darak Agree … And to be complete, in fact higher floor do cause a drop in downforce as you mentionned which mean they will aquaplane, so no point going higher.

            Some people talk about monsoon tyres. There is no point for such tyresin F1 as the visibility would be awefull. Already the wet tyre throw a lot of water into the air which bring them to the limit of visibility, there is no point going further and have a procession of cars.

        3. I was at the track, it was very wet, in Q1 they had cars really struggling. It wasn’t safe to run. Not really. It was right to postpone it, as the rain had come back when Q1 ended. There was a lot of water on the track.

        4. Or @bascb bring monsoon tyres !

          1. @verstappen This! We have 4 dry types of tyre. We only have 2 types of wet tyres, which severely limits the amount of running if it rains too much. Why not just make a tyre with even bigger grooves, say, an extra wet tyre? Sure, it’ll be even slower than the full wets, but there will be running and I’m sure it would still be entertaining.

        5. Far better to start Qualifying and Racing early afternoon, local time, so loss of light will not be an issue, as F1 is touted as a GLOBAL sport it will allways be a bad time for some viewers.

        6. In the modern world a lot of amazing technology exists. Why are they using brooms?

    2. just got to wait that little bit longer!

    3. I’m due to be doing things on Sunday, so a 12pm qualifying and 6am race will not be fun!

    4. F1 really shot itself in the foot with those late-evening starting times. I had to get up earlier then I would have for qualifying anyway, getting up a few hours before wouldn’t be a problem for me.

      If this is a new trend I’m not looking forward to Sepang and their 5 o’clock downpurs that happen every day…

      1. A1., you would think Bernie would have learnt the lesson from the red flagging of Malaysia due to light a few years ago.

    5. What a farce. This makes a mockery of F1.

      These are the best drivers in the world and they can be trusted to drive according to the conditions. Not that the conditions were particularly bad, by standards we’ve seen in the past.

      1. @red-andy It’s worse than it looks on TV, trust me I was sitting in it. It’s the standing water that is the real problem. Basically every driver was very nervous on the throttle out of turn 11-12 and the rain wasn’t going to get better plus it was getting much darker than it showed on TV.
        I’d rather have a dry quali tomorrow to show us who is the fastest, rather than it be a wet mess of a qualifying.

        1. @nackavich I’m sure that TV pictures don’t tell the whole story, but I can’t imagine it was worse than, say, race day at Fuji in 2007. Or even Silverstone in 2008, where we went the whole race without “needing” the safety car.

          I believe that F1 needs to take a good look at how it handles wet weather these days. In Q1 the cars were on track for fifteen minutes before it was dry enough to go to intermediate tyres, and we’ve seen races where cars have followed the safety car into the pits to change to inters after a supposed “wet start.” This attitude that F1 has to be like cricket is ruining the spectacle and damaging the sport.

          1. I was there too, I was watching just after turn 2 and almost all the drivers were having problems coming out of turn 2. I think Hamilton hit the wall there. He wasn’t the only one having problems. Massa and the Williams’ particularly.

          2. its a matter of safety, you saw the amount of accidents in q1 where the track was much drier and there was much more light than there would have been in q2 there would have been more crashes, probably bigger crashes and potential injury…if postponing can avoid that then why wouldnt you?

        2. Well, after all the waiting, I am not surprised it got dark, so lets just change the start time of the session back another hour, or go back to 14:00 PM local time again @nackavich.

          And the FIA and FOM should think about having a look at what can be done so these cars CAN run with some water on track. Ride height, tyres, whatever, just adapt the regulations to make it possible.
          And have a look at avoiding those puddles by fixing a bit of drainage. Its not the first race, its another one of a far too long string where we have seen racing stopped because its wet, as @red-andy mentions in his post.

          1. @BasCB This is a good point. Modern F1 cars are so sensitive, it’s probably far easier to lose control of them in the wet than it used to be. I’m sure some of the regulations like Parc Ferme conditions and not being able to change setup between qualifying and the race doesn’t help, as teams go for a compromise between a wet and dry setup, rather than a fully wet setup for qualifying and a fully dry setup for the race.

      2. These are the best drivers in the world

        No, they’re not. We have fifteen or sixteen drivers who are arguably the best in the world. As for the remainder, the best that can be said for them is that it remains to be seen – but given the talent that some of those drivers replaced, they have extraordinary shoes to fill if they want to be called the best in the world.

        they can be trusted to drive according to the conditions.

        There’s a path of debris scattered around Albert Park that suggests otherwise.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys
          Exactly, considering Massa spun off while Webber took to the grass on the same corner before Guiterrez smashed into bits of the Ferrari left behind.
          The light was a real issue, especially when you look at the 2 hour time limit for the race which ends at 7pm, they wouldn’t have been able to finish quali in decent lighting even if they had’ve resumed.

        2. They get paid to be the best… and some of them pay to try to be the best. It really shouldn’t matter. At this level of racing they should all be able to drive even in the most adverse conditions, if they can’t then they really don’t deserve their seat. American football, Rugby, baseball and perhaps cricket are all more inherently dangerous than current F1 racing. Send the drivers out… What’s the worst that can happen, slow Q times?

          1. @alex-bkk

            What’s the worst that can happen, slow Q times?

            Bear in mind that the drivers can act like little princesses sometimes. If they think they can get an advantage by overstating the difficulty of the conditions so that qualifying gets postponed and they can start over in better conditions in the morning, then that’s exactly what they’ll do. We’ve seen it time and time again when races are run behind the safety car because of the conditions – half the drivers will claim that it’s too dangerous to continue and they need to stay behind the safety car, while the other half will claim that the track is fine and that they should start racing again.

          2. What’s the worst that can happen

            Oh god I hope you are being sarcastic. When Gutierrez crashed, he almost bounced back onto the racing line, what if someone had hit him.

            F1 has had so many close calls in the last few years it’s not funny.
            I know it’s on TV, but F1 is real, there are actual people in those cars and they all have families.

            1. Great response to the above foolish comment.

          3. American football, Rugby, baseball and perhaps cricket are all more inherently dangerous than current F1 racing.

            On what basis do you make this assumption? I agree that all of those sports offer more opportunities to break your body and cause long term illness and even cause an early death in american football, but make no bones about it. Fatalaties are instantaneous and horrendous in F1 when they do occur, and no one who has watched the in car footage from Alonso’s car last year can be in any doubt he was inches away from death.

            I think people forget because we have went for such a long time without any major incidents that F1 is incredibly dangerous. Just look at Henry Surtees, John Surtees son.

            1. Keeping this in mind: Fatalaties are instantaneous in F1 as opposed to long, painful brain and body injuries in other sports. Question to you: If you were to choose, would you prefer an instant and terrible death or take 6 months of surgeries and brain damage to live only with difficulty and the understanding that you may never walk, talk or think like a normal human again?

      3. Much rather wait for “clean” qualifying than to expect drivers to race in such conditions. It was getting dark, the rain didn’t stop and the black lines on the track didn’t help either. What would be the point in continuing?

        1. That’s not the point. The point is to start the sessions earlier at a usual local time & expect those who want to watch it live to get out of bed for it.

          We can’t control the rain but we can control the start times that’s the point

          1. @bobby-balboa
            You mean that would be nice, right? Right! Surely “we” cannot control the start times either.
            IMO racing start times will only change to an appropriate day time as opposed to Europe viewers’ time when sponsors start seeing a change in their target audience. While they believe the money is in Europe things will probably stay as they are.

            1. @Zicasso, It’s a GLOBAL sport, so it is allways going to be inconvenient for some viewers, the 3 hour delay to give EU viewers a nice morning program means that it happens at 2am in east coast USA a market that F1 desperately needs to attract. God gave us PVRs for a purpose, Bernie should stop interfering in his plan.

            2. My use of the word “we” was referring to people in general if that wasn’t blatantly obvious. It is after all people at FOM that decide the start times and can “control’ them unlike the weather. clown

            3. Thanks for clarifying that @bobby-balboa. I still wish to yourself and I had together the power to change the world (that would include controlling F1 starting times).

            4. @zicasso

              and the world would be a better place & we would all live happily ever after . . . . . I do love a happy ending

    6. OMG it’s just rain. Lol @ F1

      1. and extremely low visibility, and very slippery surfaces, and a lot of rookies new to the formula…

    7. I was sitting at Turns 11-12 and there was a LOT of water, even in Q1. The TV didn’t do the amount of water justice. Thankfully we left to find a pub to get out of the rain ad watch the rest of quali!

      1. You were at the circuit, but left because of the rain? And people are knocking the DRIVERS for not liking the rain…?!

    8. The track was in intermediate conditions.
      F1 can’t drive in the rain anymore. This is a farce.
      I can’t believe this was only 4.5 years ago. What a joke this sport has become.

      1. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
        16th March 2013, 7:59

        It was the light which was the problem not the water.. it’s too dangerous to drive with poor light to be honest, although it is dissapointing.

        1. They kept delaying Q2 because of more rain threats (not rain itself).

          Today the circuit, was at no point anywhere near as bad as Fuji ’07 or Silverstone ’08; yet the delayed it, delayed it, and delayed it.

          I hope it rains tomorrow too. :p

          1. @kingshark – they are also not street circuits though and this was a qualifying session, which is different from a race. It was the lines that were the major problem.

            And as has been correctly stated the light was becoming a major problem.

            1. @vettel1
              Albert Park is as wide as most normal circuits.

              It’s not as if just 5 years ago, we had a wet race in Monaco where the spray was just as bad.

            2. If the lines are the problem, that is hardly something that cannot be fixed. Or that was not there a couple of years back, is it?

            3. Exactly, the proximity of the sidewalls makes it much more dangerous in this case, so i am ok with the decision too.

            4. @kingshark – street cicrcuits have poorer drainage and lines all over the track, so the surface grip is also worse.

              I don’t think that Monaco race was as bad but the man issue here was dismissing light levels. I also feel that the fact it was the first qualifying of the year would also have an influence – it’s the first time they will have really been pushing and that has the potential to be dangerous as all the spins proved.

            5. @vettel1 If the white lines were the problem, then the drivers should drive carefully over them.

      2. That thermal cam shot at 1:05 was great.

      3. David not Coulthard (@)
        16th March 2013, 8:18

        Consider the possibility that it could be that the cameras that got better at concealing the rain, while the drivers and cars didn’t get worse in the rain, either.

        And Albert Park’s a street circuit, Silverstone……..(Well, if you can trust these drivers to drive there, why not bring me Brands Hatch, or Spa including Masta, or Monza’s oval, and take away those chicanes at Monza. You can trust the drivers, right? and nothing bad happened there (except Spa?) in the past (Nobody in the World Championship died on the Moza oval. Rindt and von Trips died near Parabolica, I believe)…isn’t – and that might’ve been a factor.

        Sometimes, though, the simplest explanation may be the one that holds any water.

      4. @kingshark

        I can’t believe this was only 4.5 years ago.

        The aerodynamics of the cars have changed considerably since then. The regulation chagnes introduced in 2009 were designed to give the cars a greater wake, because prior to that, the air coming off the car was channeled into a funnel shape that made it very difficult for cars travelling behind to get close. The regulations were written in such a way that the car created a higher, wider wake so as to diminish the effects of dirty air. The downside is that when cars spray water up, it creates a curtain of mist.

        Furthermore, the Albert Park circuit is at sea level and runs around a lake. There is quite literally nowhere for the water to go, because the water table is already very full. Consequently, it doesn’t take much for the water to start spilling over. Montreal has the same problem.

        What a joke this sport has become.

        So you’d prefer for the session to carry on in low light and heavy rain showers, with large puddles of standing water all around the circuit? Did you miss the trail of debris scatterred around the circuit that demonstrated how the drivers were struggling to handle the conditions?

        1. So you’d prefer for the session to carry on in low light and heavy rain showers, with large puddles of standing water all around the circuit? Did you miss the trail of debris scatterred around the circuit that demonstrated how the drivers were struggling to handle the conditions?

          Who doesn’t? F1 is not just about driving fast. It’s about drivers making mistakes because they’re on the absolute limit of what’s physically possible with the car.

          Today’s reaction to the weather was worse than ever before. At no point was the track undriveable. Spraying water might be an argument for the race but not for qualifying where you need to keep a great distance to the next car anyways.

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            16th March 2013, 9:14

            What about the standing water?

          2. Today’s reaction to the weather was worse than ever before. At no point was the track undriveable.

            So you actually drove it, did you?

            1. Yes.

              Of course not, but this isn’t an argument. We’ve seen more rain on the streets of Melbourne before. If the cars have changed into a direction that they can’t cope with minimal amounts of standing water anymore, then the developement has gone into a completely wrong direction and needs to be changed asap. This is so much worse than cars that are difficult to overtake.

        2. “Montreal has the same problem” right but what a great race we had a few years ago, even with rain delays, because racing started in the middle of the day , not the early evening.

    9. If waking up at 5:30 for the qualy isnt bad enough, I’m gonna be out at midnight, so I’ll miss it! :(

      1. Highly agree…. why cant they just start in the morning… I say how did they now come up with that 11 am qualy time… thats the solution…

    10. What egregious incompetence from this multibillion-dollar whatever.

      Let’s put a one-hour plus event 2 hours before sunset so if anything happens we shall surely be unable to finish before dark. The whole day is there to use, but let’s still select a moronically late time slot so we can play with everybody’s time and nerves.

      1. +1

        But its done keeping out European brothers in mind….

        1. keeping OUT European brothers would have solved the problem.

    11. The track was in intermediate conditions.
      F1 can’t drive in the rain anymore. It’s a farce.
      I can’t believe this was only 4.5 years ago. What a joke this sport has become.

    12. Could be worse but I am a bit annoyed i woke up at 5:45 to watch q1 only

      I wonder what time the bbc are planning to show qualifying highlights?

      1. Nick Jarvis (@)
        16th March 2013, 23:36

        it’s around 4.30am on BBC One/HD. Going to leave my freeview+ on overnight.. no way am I getting up early to watch highlights, will just wait till I wake up.

    13. I was actually quite pleased with how the FIA handled this: Charlie appeared in front of the camera and they called it a day fairly quickly. But regarding the time at which the events start: I can understand that they gained a number of viewers by moving the race and qualifying backwards, but this delaying thing has happened several times now. Can we please go back to the old time table?

      1. they called it a day fairly quickly

        Let me just explain that bit: I have been studying the weather radar and there were indeed some dry spells inbetween showers, so the decision to not postpone Q2 to Sunday was justified. The dry spells sort of disappeared when they reached land, which resulted in a continuous rain shower. So I can see why they had hope that it could be restarted, but the circumstance were a bit unfortunate. I’m afraid a lot of people are going to blame the FIA for this saying that they should have called it off sooner, but that is unfounded, unfair and unjustified in my opinion.

        1. There was about a 20 minuted dry spell right after Q1 though. Could have used that for Q2, instead of waiting until it was too late.

          1. That’s a bit captain Hindsight: they thought it was going to rain, so to avoid risking a red flag in Q2 with another risk of not restarting Q2, they waited for the shower to go by. They were hoping that there was a 15 min dry spell after that shower in which they could merely run Q2, but as it turned out, the shower was in fact not a shower. And when they realized that, there wasn’t enough time to start Q2 before the heavier showe would arrive.

            They wanted to be sure that if Q2 started they would be able to finish. They didn’t see such an opportunity so Q2 simply never got underway.

          2. They needed time to clear the debris.. and Guiterrezs car.

          3. Furthermore they needed the time after Q1 to clear up all of the debris from the broken wings and Gutierrez’s crashed Sauber or there may have been several punctures in Q2 and possibly more crashes. Also I’m fairly certain the rules mandate at least a 5 min gap between Q1 and Q2 preventing them from immediately starting Q2 after Q1 ended.

      2. What was the old timetable?

        1. Qualifying and race at 3 o’clock UK time

          1. @andae23 The current 11am Australia time seems better, mean 12am for UK…

            1. @chainsaw I they do that permanently, then FP3 will be run at sunrise on Saturday – it resolves the problem a bit, but the Ozzies at the track are kind of screwed over by this.

      3. The Next Pope
        16th March 2013, 11:18

        I agree.
        Also, I find I’m not complaining like the others because the time tomorrow will be very convenient for me.

    14. Absolute farce. I accepted Japan 2010 because it poured all day with no let-up, but this is ridiculous. We’re getting to the point where we don’t need to bother with wet tyres because the action will stop if the conditions get beyond the intermediates. What exactly is wrong with running qualifying and leaving it to the drivers? If it’s too wet, then slow down — it’s not rocket science.

      Midnight it is, then. F1 keeps shooting itself in the foot, this is another case in point!

      1. +10
        it was just a wet quali

    15. This is becoming a usual problem with the late in the day races in Oz, China & Malaysia. No one can control the weather but with the late session times just to suit a European audience, for me is simply not justifiable.

      I know the sponsors maybe have a big say on this one but it is not good for the sport or the fans. I would happily get up at 3 or 4am to watch quali & race as I think it’s a small price to pay & I accept that F1 is global so it’s not possible to watch all races at noon.

      I want to see the race in full despite any delays due to weather but canceling sessions or ending races early due to lack of daylight hours is crazy.

      So the solutions:
      Do I want all non European races to be under floodlights? No
      Should they send the drivers out and expect them to deal with the condition? Very Debatable
      Should they have the sessions on at a normal local time? Yes

      1. +1

        Agreed. A decicated F1 fan will get up at any hour to watch quali / race.

        Besides, SKY / BBC usually re-run the races at lunchtime so all the casual fans can watch the early morning races at Sunday lunchtime.

      2. Should they have the sessions on at a normal local time? Yes

        But then people will complain that the race is on at an awkward time in Europe, especially since it is the opening round of the season. And when the race gets moved so that a more viewer-friendly race can start the season, those same people will complain about giving up on “tradition” for the sake of the audience.

        1. I think the hardcore fans are happy to get up early to watch the races LIVE

          For the casual fans I see no reason why they would care if they are watching a FULL replay of the race at 12 noon like usual.

          Everyone’s a winner

          1. @Bobby – Well Said…

            @Monkeys – Since you are in Europe you cannot understand the plight of the Global audience… It should be equal for all..

            1. @Chainsaw I have to admit, that did make me chuckle. @Prisoner-Monkeys is very aware of the ‘plight of the global audience’, given that he’s in Australia…

            2. Michael Brown (@)
              16th March 2013, 19:55

              @Chainsaw I live in Canada. I have to get up at 2 am for Australia and the Asian races, and about 7 am for the European races.

              But then people will complain that the race is on at an awkward time in Europe, especially since it is the opening round of the season.

              I almost missed my doctor’s appointment because I was watching a Abu Dhabi 2012. Therefore, the race is at an awkward time and I want it moved.

              Sorry, but no sympathy for the Europeans who can`t get up at 6 or 7 in the morning.

      3. good points there @bobby-balboa

        I don’t think the few hours difference make much difference. If you’re a hardcore F1 fan and you’ll get up at 5am to watch a qualifying session (like I did this morning) then chances are you’d get up at 3am to watch 1 too (like I used to every year) so I dont think the viewing figures are affected THAT much myself, the casual fan isn’t going to get up earlier to watch a session is he/she.

        The biggest problem though with these start times is that it often leads to sessions/races being under threat because of light going, which I do think is totally unavoidable.

        My other point is about the delays, I appreciate the safety aspect has to come into play and I agree with it, but I haven’t missed many F1 races since I started seriously taking an interest in 1997 and well, I dont remember many qualifying sessions or races being affected this much by rain. There never used to be that many wet races being delayed at the starts (the occasional safety car start did come in around this time for wet races , no bad thing) but since 2009 I do find myself wondering what the hell is going on when the rain comes down and all of a sudden the cars come in and we all have to wait for the action to restart or be cancelled. Some of the greatest drives in history for F1 were in wet races, mainly because everyone appreciates the difficulty level gets higher and the better drivers come into their own then!

        So in the 15+ years I have been watching, either rain has got heavier and made driving conditions much worse…or the sport has gone too far the other way when it comes to safety, controversial though that may sound the teams always look for the situation that suits them best. This qquote from Christian Horner being an incredible example “It would be unfair to do that because you navigate your way trough that first session.
        “It’s not about setting purple [fastest] sectors; it’s about surviving it. A fairer way would be to do it on car number… They have made the right call.

        Read that how you like (that is from the BBC website this morning by the way) but I read it as: “We have a car advantage in the dry so we want to qualify in the dry”

        I love F1 and I always will be a hardcore fan of it, but they will never attract casual fans when they keep shooting themselves in the foot by over complicating quite simple problems

        1. And his cars are numbers 1 and 2. So last years constructors would be fairer than part of an actual session that has taken place.

        2. @aledinho

          I am glad that you understand my point & simple solution to the problem & I am in agreement with your analysis of how rain shy F1 has become recently. No one wants to see drivers getting seriously hurt racing in undriveable conditions but the cars & tires should be able to cope with a certain amount of standing water and still have a race on our hands.

          1st thing revert back to the old time system with local track time the same at all grand prix & it won’t solve the rain issue but it will certainly help if & when sessions are delayed due to it.

          Don’t anyone analyse this as it’s a simple ask even though I know what the sponsors wants & gets is not the same thing as the fans or sensibility

    16. 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.

      1. @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.

        1. @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.

          1. Albert Park, unlike Silverstone or Korea, is a street circuit, not a purpose built racing facility where the track is designed to accelerate drainage.


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

    17. 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!

      1. @oblong_cheese: Sir, do you have a thing against Earth?

        1. I don’t understand what you’re asking.

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

      1. Same here ….

      2. David not Coulthard (@)
        16th March 2013, 9:20

        I’d suggest waking up at that time and, after quali, go back to sleep!

        Worked for me when I slept at 4 AM after Canada 2011.

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

      1. F1ngers crossed..

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

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

    22. 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

      1. What will a poll here make a difference… THe mindset of people need to change… For example look up for comments from Martin (@aardvark) and Martin (@andone89

    23. 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.

      1. @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

        1. 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.

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

      1. David not Coulthard (@)
        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)

        1. Thanks for the advice

          although I tend not to wake up when the alarm rings

          same for me

    25. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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

      2. @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

    26. 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!

      1. ‘a lot better’ as in ‘more evenly’, sorry!

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

      1. @zaakir No, they are in parc ferme conditions…

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

      1. @sato113 Normal as in RBR on pole?? Many people dont want that.. Btw they were on top in Q1…

    29. 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.

    30. 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.

      1. @hallard It was more due to standing water and poor light… Pirelli tyres displace 100 litres of water per second on Cintuarto Blue at a race speeds…

    31. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      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. :)

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

      1. @aish I loved Webber’s stroll through the park (when he was on the grass)

    33. Anthony Bosley (@)
      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.

      1. Should they also restart every race that gets red flagged from the beginning? Clown

        1. Hey there, what’s up with calling people “Clown”? Trying to live up to your namesake’s level of intelligence or what?

          1. @maciek

            I happened to think his opinion, in my opinion was a joke hence I used the word clown. I didn’t think it needed to be justified.

            As regards to my name then I assume you are questioning the intelligence of my parents? Would you like to come round for tea & biscuits then browse through the family tree for the origins?

      2. But why would he do that? The 21 other drivers all competed in the exact same conditions.

      3. i thought that to but on the plus side for the eliminated drivers they have extra dry tyres for the race.

    34. 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?

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

    36. David not Coulthard (@)
      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!

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

    38. 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.

    39. 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.

      1. @bendana Ha ha ha, you made my day… Waiting for comments from hardc0re Crashilton fans…

    40. David not Coulthard (@)
      16th March 2013, 9:59

      …..So where is the logic?

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

    41. 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.

    42. 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.

    43. Roger Matthews
      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!!

    44. 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)

    45. Does anyone know when and where I can watch Q2-3 in the US?

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