Fernando Alonso (left) pulls out to pass the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton (right) during Q1 at Melbourne as the rain came down in buckets. Credit: Sutton Images

Formula 1 Melbourne Qualifying Delayed

It was a rain soaked qualifying session in Melbourne and when I say it rained, I mean it rained hard. The session was delayed multiple times due to the inclement weather and time constraints due to sunset approaching became a real worry. They eventually decided to delay Q2 and Q3 until tomorrow.

After a delay, the lights went green and the track was opened up for time trials. The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were the first to take on the slippery surface and it wasn’t long before we had our first incident. The Caterham of Giedo Van Der Garde hit the wall and ripped his front wing off dragging it underneath the car. There were well over 10 incidents in the 20 minute wreck fest with Felipe Massa and Esteban Gutierrez taking the hardest hits in ironically, the same area of the race track as one another.

A few teams made the decision to switch over to Intermediates which worked for some of them, but not for most. In the final seconds, Williams rookie Valtteri Bottas jumped from the danger zone all the way up to 13th saving himself from elimination. Giedo Van Der Garde, Pstor Maldonado, Charles Pic, Max Chilton, Esteban Gutierrez & Jules Bianchi were the drivers knocked out in Q1. Both Marussias outpaced both Caterham drivers which only happened once in 2012.

Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Jean-Eric Vergne and Lewis Hamilton led the session at its conclusion. At the end of Q1, carbon fiber and debris littered the soaking wet track and cars never made it back out for Q2. The Stewards made the decision to wait until tomorrow to finish qualifying so we have to wait to see who will sit on pole for the opening F1 race of 2013.

Tags: Formula One Melbourne Rain Delay Sebastian Vettel

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