Qualifying postponed in Melbourne
Australian Grand Prix qualifying will be completed on Sunday morning in Melbourne after rain halted proceedings.
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The first qualifying session did take place on Saturday, albeit after a 30-minute delay, with Nico Rosberg setting the fastest time in what were already wet conditions.
The decision was initially taken to delay the second session, due to feature the fastest 16 drivers from Q1, because of further rain.
But when it refused to relent, organisers made the decision to postpone both Q2 and Q3 until Sunday. The action is due to resume at 1100 local time (0000 GMT).
Twice in recent years qualifying has had to be postponed on Saturday and held on Sunday morning, on both occasions in Japan.
In 2004 Typhoon Ma struck the Suzuka circuit, while three years ago conditions similar to those in Melbourne resulted in a continual stream of delays until the call was made to wait until race day to hold qualifying.
Appreciably the opening 20-minute session was chaotic and ended with the track strewn with carbon fibre given the number of incidents.
One of the issues given the circuit is not a permanent one - it is effectively a street track housed in the middle of a park - was the lack of drainage.
Just as the first session was scheduled to start a number of marshals were out and about using brooms and squeegees to try to sweep away the standing water, albeit to no avail.
When it finally did begin the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Giedo van der Garde, Charles Pic and Esteban Gutierrez all suffered accidents.
For Hamilton in particular, for a few heartstopping moments it appeared as if his debut qualifying session with Mercedes would end with him floundering like a fish out of water.
On the approach to turn two Hamilton struck a patch of water, forcing him to lock his brakes and slide backwards across the track where he ended up striking a barrier with his rear wing.
As he came to rest, beached on a kerb with his car half on the grass and half on the track, initially it seemed the 28-year-old would be unable to free himself.
Instead, after an attempt to rock himself forwards, Hamilton selected reverse and gingerly manoeuvred backwards and into a position where he could again carry on his way, even with the slight damage to his rear wing.
As for Massa, the Brazilian was fortunate to lose only the front wing of his Ferrari after twice hitting a wall as he spun through 360 degrees before being able to trundle his way back to the pits for repairs.
Six drivers, however, will effectively have the morning off on Sunday, led by Williams' Pastor Maldonado, who went for a lengthy excursion across the grass at one point.
The Venezuelan, who declared his car "undriveable'' after finishing Q1, will start 17th.
Behind him will be four of the five rookies in F1 this year, with Gutierrez 18th in his Sauber after ending his first qualifying with a spin into the same wall that accounted for Massa.
For Marussia, in what will be a season-long battle for 10th place in the constructors' championship with Caterham, the team struck an early blow with both their cars out-qualifying their main rival.
Jules Bianchi and Britain's Max Chilton will line up 19th and 20th, while on the back row will be Van der Garde and Pic, both of whom spun at various points, losing their front wings.
Van der Garde actually contrived to run over the dislodged part, providing a suitably bizarre image to sum up the evening's mayhem.