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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014
Heavy rain, poor light cause F1 Australian Grand Prix qualifying postponement
AFP
Melbourne, March 16, 2013
First Published: 14:20 IST(16/3/2013)
Last Updated: 02:13 IST(17/3/2013)

Race officials postponed the final two sessions of qualifying at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix until Sunday's race day after heavy rain led to treacherous track conditions.

Only the first session was finished at the sodden Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne with the start of the second session delayed twice before officials abandoned attempts to complete qualifying for grid positions.

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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 restart
But 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.

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