Most teams and drivers’ backed by stewards’ decision their approval following rain-interrupted qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix was postponed until Sunday morning
Heavy rain interrupted the opening session of the qualifying. Following Q1 completed in wet condition and some guys are crashed, Hamilton’s car slightly damaged following back wing hit n the wall at turn two.
Felipe Massa’s front wing heavily damaged, Caterham’s Charles Pic hits the wall at the end of Q1. Also the final stint of the Q1 Sauber’s Gutiérrez hits the wall at the exit of Turn 12, the same place as Massa crashed. Marussia’s Charles Pic crashes in the second sector and lost his front wing.
Following the end of Q1, two times Q2 rescheduled, but sunset time impending, and the light rapidly fading, the decision was eventually made to hold the remainder of qualifying over until Sunday, although more rain is forecast.
“It’s a shame that qualifying has been put back to tomorrow, “commented Fernando Alonso following the announcement.
“And that goes for the teams who were focused on their preparations for the session, as well as the crowd who came to watch and the marshals who worked so hard on trying to dry the track. But it was the right decision given the track conditions, especially as the white lines were really too slippery. Now we must wait for tomorrow and see if the weather and the track improve.” The Spaniard added.
Button reacted to critics of the decision by pointing to advances in safety in a sport which has been marred in the past by driver deaths.
“You could say 30 years ago they probably would have raced in these conditions, but safety has come a long way since then. I’m very happy I’m racing at this moment in time because this is correct to not run today [Saturday]. Button said
“Many times we’ve questioned the FIA’s decision when it comes to safety, that they don’t call a red flag early enough in qualifying or a race. But lately they have been great, they’ve called it well, and they understand what a Formula One car and a driver can do in these conditions.
“The fans will get a much better show tomorrow [Sunday] than they would if we had tried to run today [Saturday] in these conditions because we would have been piled up at turn one.”
Lewis Hamilton was in full agreement with his former McLaren team-mate, especially after his own incident in which he spun, damaging the rear wing of his Mercedes as he clipped a tyre wall.
“It was dangerous out there. This track is incredibly dangerous,” said Hamilton.
“It’s probably one of the slipperiest circuits I’ve raced on in the rain, simply because there are a lot of white lines everywhere that are painted black. It’s like driving on ice in those parts. As soon as you hit those the car slides, aquaplanes, oversteers, and that’s why you saw so many people going off, so the stewards made the right decision.”
Red Bull team Principal also support stewards’ decision – “It is a shame because of the weather, but absolutely the right decision was made to stop qualifying and postpone it until tomorrow,” said Christian Horner.
“The conditions were deteriorating too quickly with the daylight and too much standing water. Hopefully it will blow through and we will be back in the morning.”