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Weather conditions see qualifying delayed until Sunday

NEWS STORY
16/03/2013

Ahead of today's qualifying session the air temperature is 18 degrees C, while the track temperature is 18 degrees. Though the rain stopped in the final moments of FP3, there was another shower shortly after, then another, then it simply decided to stay put.

Furthermore, as if there weren't enough problems, what with mice chewing cables and thereby causing major problems for the FIA - the damage meaning that, amongst other things, there is no telemetry between Race Control and the cars, which affects warning lights, DRS and all manner of other things - a power cut has blacked out the entire TV compound.

Whilst McLaren might have problems, you can rest assure that someone, somewhere is currently getting a major ear-bashing from Mr E. Expletives not deleted.

Should the grid reflect this morning's timesheets few would complain, what with Grosjean heading the Ferraris, Force Indias, Toro Rosso and his teammate and the Saubers - both of which posted exactly the same time.

What was thought to be a hydraulics issue on Vettel's car turns out to have been a sensor, though it is unclear whether the Melbourne mice will be getting the blame for this also.

Failure to run in the dry means that Hamilton failed to post a competitive dry time, hence his position at the bottom of this morning's timesheet, which, on reflection, would still spice things up nicely tomorrow were the order to remain the same.

As if it wasn't confusing enough, in terms of the pecking order, the changeable conditions, not to mention the teams' reluctance to use up their allocation of tyres, means we're as unclear as we ever were. Red Bull clearly has the edge, but this morning's problem for Vettel shows that last year's frailty has not gone away.

On the other hand, Ferrari looks good, with both drivers looking more than capable, whilst Lotus would appear to be their biggest threat. The Jury is still out in terms of Mercedes while McLaren has a lot of work to do.

Whatever happens this afternoon, the weather forecast for tomorrow is bright sunshine, consequently some teams might not place as much emphasis on qualifying as usual while others will. After all, you can never take the weather for granted.

As the lights go green it is absolutely bucketing down. Of course, with Bernie Ecclestone's insistence that today's session and tomorrow's race take place later in the day, should there be any major hold-ups we could find ourselves running out of light. At which point the stewards announce that the start of Q1 has been delayed by ten minutes.

At 17:10 the stewards announce another ten minute delay. Ho hum.

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