Steady rain made for chaotic driving conditions in the first 20-minute session before the six slowest drivers were eliminated, leaving 16 drivers to continue to the second session.
Early restartBut drivers sat in their garages in the pit lane waiting for the rain to ease before the decision came to postpone qualifying. The second session will start at 11am (0530 IST) Sunday, six hours before the race gets under way.
"It's a shame because of the weather but absolutely the right decision was made to stop the qualifying or postpone it for tomorrow," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said.
"The conditions are just deteriorating too quickly, particularly with the daylight and too much standing water. So hopefully this will blow through tonight and we'll be back in the morning." Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany was quickest in the challenging first session in a time of 1min 43.380sec.
Last season's championship runner-up Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari was second (1:43.850) ahead of French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean (1:44.284) and Mexican McLaren driver Sergio Perez.