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Rain postpones Australian GP qualifiers to Sunday
Melbourne (AFP): Rain forced the postponement of the final two qualifying sessions for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix until...
Melbourne (AFP): Rain forced the postponement of the final two qualifying sessions for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix until Sunday's race day, officials said on Saturday. Only the first qualifying session was completed in treacherous conditions and race officials delayed the start of the second session twice before deciding to complete qualifying for grid positions on Sunday. Steady rain made for chaotic driving in the first 20-minute session before the six slowest drivers were eliminated, leaving 16 drivers to continue to the second session. But drivers sat in their team garages in the pit lane waiting for the rain to ease before the decision came to postpone qualifying The second session will start at 11:00 (0000 GMT) on Sunday, six hours before the race gets under way on Melbourne's Albert Park street circuit. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany was quickest in the inconclusive 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. Australia's big hope Mark Webber in a Red Bull was fifth ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa and world champion Sebastian Vettel in another Red Bull was seventh.