Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying

Not a good start: it’s pouring down! The forecast is for at least another 5 minutes.

Tyre options this weekend are medium and super-soft compounds, although it’ll be full wets for Q1
Race control: start of Q1 delayed for 10 minutes
TSN lose all sound; couple of minutes we can hear the engines but no commentary; finally BBC coverage returns
Marshals are trying to sweep away some of the standing water but it’s still raining
Medical car heading out of the pit lane to check the conditions
Start of Q1 delayed another 10 minutes
1715 local time: medical car touring around again
Rain is easing up
Another 10 minute delay to Q1
HAM and ROS sitting at the pit exit, waiting for Q1 to start
(Refer to my post re: 2013 drivers for abbreviations)
With 1 minute until the start of Q1 there’s a long queue forming in the pit lane
Radio for HAM: work the brakes; watch for white lines
HAM pushing pretty hard on his first fast lap; his Mercedes is slithering; throwing up lots of spray
VDG runs wide in Turn 5 – loses his front wing – runs over the wing and it’s trapped under his car
HAM 1:50.036
ROS 1:48.028
HAM is off – he’s stuck on the grass
HAM spinning his wheels – reverses to get more grip and gets it back on the track
Replay shows HAM’s rear wing taps the tyre wall
Will HAM be penalised for reversing? He was on the outside of a corner, so in a dangerous position, and there were no marshals attending
ROS 1:46.539
Radio for HAM – box for rear wing damage
VET held up by MAL
MAS has lost his front wing – he’s P8
Replay shows he lost it coming out of the chicane
10mins of Q1; bottom 6 are RAI, BUT, PER, WEB, BIA, CHI
Radio for ROS: don’t push any more but stay out in case he needs to defend P1
VER 1:46.339
DIR pushed into the Force India garage
VET 1:46.188
PER loses the tail of his McLaren
MAL straight lines across the grass; escapes without any visible damage
Some drivers switching to inters, including BUT
5mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are VDG, BOT, PIC, MAL, BIA, CHI
Radio for HAM: ROS is quicker using more rear brake bias
BUT 1:45.192 on inters
ALO 1:43.850
1min left of Q1; bottom 6 are SUT, VDG, PIC, MAL, BIA, CHI
PIC loses the tail; loses front wing against the wall
GUT has lost his front wing and is stuck part way across the track
Chequered flag
CHI jumps from P22 to P20
Back of the grid: MAL, GUT, BIA, CHI, VDG, PIC.

Rain is still coming down
GUT still sitting in his stranded car
Mercedes rushing to replace HAM’s rear wing
Start of Q2 delayed, which will be good news for HAM
Q2 delayed another 20 minutes
Still raining quite hard
Less than 90 minutes until sunset
Charlie Whiting says marshals still trying to sweep away water and debris; may be more rain soon, so could be further delay
Medical car doing another lap
Yet another 20 minute delay; how long before they postpone it until race day?

Qualifying in Australia postponed until Sunday

It’s 8pm EDT in Toronto and time for Q2 πŸ™‚ … And it’s being shown on TSN2 πŸ™‚
The track is still damp but they will be allowed to use DRS
Reminder: the back of the grid will be: MAL, GUT, BIA, CHI, VDG, PIC.
Q2 is underway
Everyone starting on inters
VER 1:44.573
RIC 1:43.027
ROS 1:40.423
RAI loses the tail in the penultimate turn; fights it back onto the track
VET 1:38.647
ALO 1:38.555
VET 1:37.640
PER is the first to move to slicks – he’s on super softs
ROS 1:37.325
ALO pits – new inters
5mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are RIC, HAM, DIR, PER, BOT, SUT
PER pits again – another set of super softs
BUT runs wide – slicks not working for him and he’s down in P6
VET 1:36.873
ROS 1:36.194
Radio for PER telling him more rain coming!
1min left; bottom 6 are HUL, MAS, RIC, DIR, PER, BOT
VER runs wide on slicks
Chequered flag; DIR is the last across the line
HUL P7; relegates BUT
MAS P4; SUT down to P11
BUT P4, moving HUL back to P11
Middle of the grid: HUL, SUT, VER, RIC, PER, BOT
Radio for BUT apologising for putting him on slicks and then back to inters; BUT says we had to give it a go

The final shootout will be between VET, WEB, ALO, MAS, RAI, GRO, ROS, HAM, BUT & DIR
Q3 starts; no-one rushing to leave the pits
ROS first on track – he’s on inters
RAI clips a jack as he exits his garage
ROS 1:33.684
HAM 1:33.623
VET 1:32.604
BUT is the first (in Q3) to go out on slicks
HAM pits for dry tyres, followed by 5 others
RAI pushed into the garage
2mins left; order is VET, HAM, ROS, WEB, ALO, RAI, MAS, BUT, GRO, DIR
Everyone on super-soft tyres now
BUT 1:32.485 – only 0.12 secs faster than VET on inters
HAM 1:29.184
DIR P2
VET 1:27.407 and the chequered flag falls just behind him
WEB P2
HAM doesn’t improve on P3
DIR P4
RAI P4
ALO P4
MAS P4
Front of the grid: VET, WEB, HAM, MAS, ALO, ROS, RAI, GRO, DIR, BUT

So the provisional grid is: VET, WEB, HAM, MAS, ALO, ROS, RAI, GRO, DIR, BUT, HUL, SUT, VER, RIC, PER, BOT, MAL, GUT, BIA, CHI, VDG, PIC.

Due to the delay in completing Qualifying, there’s just under 5.5 hours until the race; hopefully it won’t rain too hard before the start.

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