It’s not been the best of starts, has it? First an overbearing sense of doom at the pace of the Red Bulls and now this. Still, for those with Sky at least Damon Hill’s overwhelming sense of anxiety while trying to hang on to his umbrella was entertaining.
No qualifying. Well not at the sharp end anyhow. Just a soaking Q1 session that duly eliminated the Caterhams and the Marussias from proceedings but also scalped Sauber’s new boy Esteban Gutierrez and Williams’ Pastor Maldonado.
With Q2 and Q3 rescheduled for midnight on Saturday (GMT) when everyone left in will be hoping for a dry track and sunshine, it seems a little tough on the pair. Well, on Gutierrez anyhow. Maldonado’s elimination rather suggests that Williams have managed to go backwards with this year’s car. He says it’s undriveable. Team mate Valteri Bottas, the only rookie to escape the cut, says it isn’t. Those two bruisers are in for a fun ride this year.
Meanwhile up at the sharp end Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets at the end of Q1 thanks to some quick thinking from Mercedes that saw Rosberg and Hamilton first out in to Melbourne’s puddles. And once again Rosberg didn’t look remotely intimidated by his latest superstar teammate. Indeed Lewis once again came off the track, leaving a chunk of rear wing behind. With bits of front wing from a Ferrari, (Massa) two Caterhams and a Sauber (Gutierrez) also strewn around the track, at least the Aussie marshals will find something to do on e-bay today.
Hard not to imagine Vettel on pole for tomorrow, but we do think it will be tight. Definitely worth staying up for in what’s proving a challenging weekend for the Sunday Afternoon Club’s sleep patterns…