Australian GP qualifying as it happened

Text highlights of rescheduled qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, following heavy rain.

17 March 2013 Last updated at 05:03

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As it happened

  1. 0055: 

    So get some sleep, recharge the batteries and ready yourself for the first race of the season - the Australian Grand Prix - in Melbourne's Albert Park. Red Bull may have locked out the front row, but the weather and some hungry rivals means there's plenty to play for. Rest well folks. Until 0500 GMT, it's good night from me.

  2. 0050: 

    That sounds like a plan, James. But don't forget to set your alarm for 0500 GMT - I'll be back then to begin building up to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull's reigning champion Sebastian Vettel is looking mighty strong in that Red Bull, but he's got Lewis Hamilton is right behind him in the Mercedes in P3 and team-mate Mark Webber alongside him. The Ferraris aren't looking too shabby, either.

  3.  
    GET INVOLVED

    James Bush: "To bed now before the race in the morning."

  4. 0047: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's qualifying report which sums up the action. If you can stay awake, or get up early, there'll be a qualifying highlights package on BBC One at 0515 GMT.

  5. 0045: 
    THE GRID

    1) Sebastian Vettel 2) Mark Webber 3) Lewis Hamilton 4) Felipe Massa 5) Fernando Alonso 6) Nico Rosberg 7) Kimi Raikkonen 8) Romain Grosjean 9) Paul di Resta 10) Jenson Button

    11) Nico Hulkenberg 12) Adrian Sutil 13) Jean-Eric Vergne 14) Daniel Ricciardo 15) Sergio Perez 16) Valtteri Bottas

    17) Pastor Maldonado 18) Esteban Gutierrez 19) Jules Bianchi 20) Max Chilton 21) Giedo van der Garde 22) Charles Pic

  6.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Sarah Bladen: "Disappointed Nico Rosberg didn't manage to get onto pole after doing so well in Q1&Q2! Lets hope the race is exciting!"

    James Andrew: "Well done Lewis Hamilton! Third in a Mercedes is almost as good as pole position at this stage."

    Ryan Bhagat: "Vettel always pulls it out the bag."

  7. 0039: 

    Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton take their position for the obligatory photo while the marshals head out onto the track to sweep up any debris.

  8. 0038: 

    Paul di Resta was ninth for Force India with McLaren's Jenson Button unable to take advantage of being the first man on the super-softs and ending up 10th.

  9. 0037: 

    Good lap from Felipe Massa, too, beating his double world champion Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso by one place and 0.003 seconds. Nico Rosberg was sixth, ahead of Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

  10. 0036: 

    So it's a Red Bull lock-out for the first grand prix of the season with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Mark Webber. Lewis Hamilton gives Mercedes their best start since Germany last July with third, two tenths off the pace of Webber.

  11. 0035: 
    POLE POSITION

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel takes pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.

  12. 0034: 

    Mark Webber goes second in the Red Bull, with Lewis Hamilton third and Felipe Massa fourth. Sebastian Vettel is going even faster, but I don't think he'll need to as no one else is going quicker.

  13. 0033: 

    Sebastian Vettel smashes the previous best by 1.5 seconds, crossing the line with just one second to spare before the chequered flag drops. Lucky boy.

  14. 0032: 

    Boom. Lewis Hamilton goes fastest by three seconds. Wow. The track is getting better all the time. Paul di Resta pops into second in the Force India, but he's usurped by Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

  15. 0031: 

    Jenson Button goes fastest, but it's only a tenth clear of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel. It looks like that was a fairly cautious first lap from the McLaren driver. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, is absolutely flying. The 2008 world champion is purple - fastest of all - in the first two sectors.

  16.  

    Lewis Hamilton's race engineer over team radio: "You're fuelled for two laps, it'll be the second which is the quickest."

  17. 0030: 

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are in for super-soft tyres, too with less than three minutes remaining. Kimi Raikkonen, meanwhile, is being wheeled back into the Lotus garage.

  18. 0029: 

    Jenson Button doesn't bother with a lap on the inters. He bides his time and then is the first man out on the super-soft tyres. Could this gamble pay off for the 2009 world champion who has won here in three of the last four years?

  19.  

    Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg, who will start 11th: "Everything is open. It's been a new experience this qualifying. Everything is wide open. Eleventh is not a complete disaster, maybe we should have stopped for a new set of inters but we take that forward and we learn from it."

  20. 0027: 

    The rear end of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull steps out as he gets on the gas in the penultimate corner but he collects the slide and still goes quickest of all by one second. The track continues to dry and it won't be long till we see the super-soft slick tyres...

  21. 0024: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes fastest first time around, just 0.06 seconds quicker than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. Mark Webber pops into third, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

  22. 0022: 
    FINAL QUALIFYING STARTS

    This is it. Ten cars, one spot on pole position. Can Nico Rosberg continue his good form in qualifying and stick that Mercedes on P1?

  23. 0020: 

    So we've got a short break before the 10-minute pole position shoot-out. Who is your tip for pole? Get in touch using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only).

  24.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Stephen Sayer: "Button got back on the intermediates just in time. Feel for Perez there."

  25.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "One of the big problems of the Albert Park track in the wet is that organisers paint over many of the markings on what are for most of the year public roads with black paint, which is not non-slip. As Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said: 'They are very slippery and as the light gets more difficult the drivers can't see them. It was getting pretty treacherous out there.'"

  26. 0019: 
    IN

    1) Rosberg 2) Webber 3) Hamilton 4) Button 5) Massa 6) Alonso 7) Vettel 8) Di Resta 9) Raikkonen 10) Grosjean

  27. 0018: 
    OUT

    11) Hulkenberg 12) Sutil 13) Vergne 14) Ricciardo 15) Perez 16) Bottas

  28. 0017: 
    SECOND QUALIFYING ENDS

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in the second part of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

  29. 0016: 

    Felipe Massa leaves it late, but he claws his way into the top 10, as does Jenson Button in the McLaren. Smart decision by the Briton to switch back to the intermediates after realising the super-soft tyres weren't the right decision. McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh shakes his head at the news Sergio Perez misses out on Q3.

  30. 0015: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG

    Adrian Sutil is doing a fantastic job for Force India, leaping up to seventh, 1.9 seconds off the pace. However, his team-mate Paul di Resta goes one step better with a personal best which is good enough for fourth - and he just crossed the line in time to start another lap. Unfortunately, Sergio Perez didn't - so he won't take part in Q3 in his new McLaren.

  31. 0014: 

    Nico Rosberg's race engineer tells him that the inters are the best tyre to be on at the moment - and he promptly delivers a corker - a 1:36.194 to go quickest by 0.679 seconds. Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez are the big names in the drop zone at the moment.

  32. 0013: 

    Bizarre decision by McLaren and Sergio Perez as he dives in and switches the super-soft slicks for another set of super-softs. Meanwhile, his team-mate Jenson Button is really struggling on those tyres out on track, sliding off onto the grass as he battles to keep that car pointing in the right direction.

  33. 0012: 

    Sergio Perez is really struggling on those slick tyres, he can't seem to get temperatures into that super-soft rubber. He's slithering around which is not ideal as he's down in 14th. Shockingly, Jenson Button has headed out on the same rubber.

  34.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "One of the big stories of this weekend has been just how much trouble McLaren are in. They were more than two seconds off the pace in second practice on Friday and have admitted they are a long way off where they want to be. On Saturday, team boss Martin Whitmarsh was asked if the team might even revert to last year's car, which was the fastest of the year. This has happened to McLaren before - in 2003 when they had to abandon their MP4-18, the infamous McLaren that never raced, and use an updated MP4-17D. Whitmarsh admitted this was 'possible' but added: 'At the moment the best thing is to work and understand this car.'"

  35. 0010: 

    McLaren's Sergio Perez is the first man to blink, diving in for a set of super-soft dry weather tyres. Mark Webber tells his Red Bull team to ready themselves for him imminent arrival. Will they go for slicks? Fernando Alonso doesn't fancy them, though, instead choosing a fresh set of inters.

  36. 0009: 

    As the track continues to dry, Sebastian Vettel goes quicker again at the top of the charts ahead of Jenson Button, who pops in a time that is eighth tenths of a second off the pace. Fernando Alonso is third, ahead of Romain Grosjean. Slick tyres could be on the cards shortly. The timing of the decision could be crucial.

  37. 0007: 

    Jenson Button and Felipe Massa are the big names in the drop zone at the moment, with Lewis Hamilton on the bubble in 10th in the Mercedes. Just eight minutes remaining.

  38. 0005: 

    Big moment for Kimi Raikkonen at the penultimate corner in the Lotus, but he gets it back together in time to start a fresh lap. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel sorts himself out next time around to go quickest, with Nico Rosberg slotting into second and Fernando Alonso third in the Ferrari.

  39. 0003: 

    Nico Rosberg, who set the pace in Q1, goes quickest early on, two seconds quicker than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but he is soon usurped by Red Bull's Mark Webber. Sebastian Vettel, the reigning world champion, makes a mistake at Turn One, though, and crosses the line eighth fastest.

  40.  

    Mark Webber's race engineer over team radio: "You can use DRS, DRS is OK."

  41.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "Sunday started showery and that is expected to continue for much of the morning and early afternoon, which raises the prospect of further delays in qualifying today. If qualifying cannot be completed the race stewards can either define the grid on the basis of the positions as qualifying was called off; or in car-number order."

  42. 0001: 

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson says the intermediate tyre is definitely the right tyre to be on right now and with more rain expected during the session, Anderson stresses that it's important to get a banker lap early doors to avoid getting caught out by the weather.

  43. 0000: 
    SECOND QUALIFYING STARTS

    The red light flicks off, the green light pings on and we're away for the second part of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

  44. 2359: 

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have filed out of the Mercedes garage, too, with rain still hanging in the air. The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso seem content to stay in the garage for now, though.

  45.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "The decision to first delay and eventually postpone qualifying has inevitably come in for criticism. But for those who don't understand why the best drivers in the world could not drive on a wet track, McLaren's Jenson Button had an eloquent explanation. 'When it gets too wet for these tyres it doesn't matter what speed you driver around, you will aquaplane. That is it. The tyre cannot take a certain amount of water,' he said.

    "'Especially when there is a river running across the circuit you don't know where it is when you arrive. When it is this wet, there is no difference between the rivers and the circuit because it is just like one big lake. And when you hit a river you are completely out of control; you might as well close your eyes and take your hand off the steering wheel because it does what it wants. And that's not what F1 is about. It is about a guy trying to tame a 750bhp F1 car but in conditions where he can tame possibly it because in this you can't. The fans will get a much better show than they would have if we'd tried to run in these conditions because we'd all be piled up at Turn One.'"

  46. 2355: 

    The pit lane is expected to open at 0000 GMT - and as per my last entry, Daniel Ricciardo and his Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne have taken the advice of their respective engineers and headed out of the garage and down to the end of the pit lane in readiness of the start of the session.

  47. 2353: 

    The good news is the rain has stopped, but Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo's race engineer has just said more rain is expected so he should get out sharpish on the inters and get a lap in. Smart move.

  48. 2351: 

    And here's who didn't make it: 17) Pastor Maldonado 18) Esteban Gutierrez 19) Jules Bianchi 20) Max Chilton 21) Giedo van der Garde 22) Charles Pic

  49. 2350: 

    So for those who missed yesterday session, here's who's still in the game to take pole position for the season-opener:

    1) Rosberg 2) Alonso 3) Grosjean 4) Perez 5) Webber 6) Massa 7) Vettel 8) Button 9) Vergne 10) Hamilton 11) Raikkonen 12) Di Resta 13) Hulkenberg 14) Ricciardo 15) Bottas 16) Sutil

  50.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "Formula 1's capacity to surprise is part of its enduring appeal and this year's Australian Grand Prix has added a new first. For the only time in history, qualifying started but could not be completed on its scheduled day. The first knock-out session was as far as things got on Saturday as a heavy storm battered Melbourne and conditions were too treacherous to continue.

    "With daylight failing, race director Charlie Whiting decided to postpone the final two sessions until 1100 local on Sunday. The weather is far from settled on Sunday morning and it promises to be a long, busy day for everyone involved but one rich with potential excitement and unknowns. As Ferrari's Fernando Alonso puts it: 'Some rain around, race should be dry, qually not sure. Interesting day ahead.'"

  51. 2345: 

    Hello. It's me again. Ready for some Formula 1 Super Sunday action? I thought you would be. Welcome to rescheduled qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. Let's do this. Again.

  52. 0815: 

    Thanks, as always for your company and contributions. I'm off to get some sleep but I'll be back tonight at 2345 GMT - to take you through the remainder of qualifying before building up to the first race of the season - the Australian Grand Prix. Until then, it's a very good morning from me. See ya.

  53. 0810: 

    Don't forget coverage of the Australian GP this weekend is live here on the BBC Sport website, and on radio. TV qualifying highlights are due to be on BBC One & BBC HD today at 1300 GMT. Race coverage on Sunday is on 5 live from 1255 GMT and live on the Sport website. TV highlights are on BBC One & BBC HD at 1420 GMT.

  54. 0805: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's report, which sums up the first part of Q1, where Nico Rosberg was fastest from Romain Grosjean. I'm going to call it day and ready myself to be back at my keyboard later tonight.

  55. 0800: 

    Race director Charlie Whiting said race control made the decision to "put everyone out of their misery".

  56. 0755: 

    Well that was a bit of an anticlimax, wasn't it? After a spectacular first part of qualifying, with cars spinning here, there and everywhere, qualifying is cancelled and rescheduled tomorrow.

  57.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Fabian Solomon: "Don't worry guys in Oz. The weather back in England is a washout too!"

  58.  

    McLaren: "Oh well, looks like we'll be back here again tomorrow morning for more of the same!"

  59. 0750: 

    I've got bad news but race control have decided to postpone Q2 and Q3 until Sunday morning at 1100 local time so 0000 GMT. Joy.

  60. 0745: 

    Nice touch from Lewis Hamilton who uses the time during the delay to chat to one of the team's young guests at the back of the garage. We've not heard anything else from race control since they announced the last delay so the drivers are getting back in their cars ahead of the rescheduled time of 0750 GMT. Fingers crossed.

  61. 0743: 

    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh doesn't think we'll finish qualifying today. "I'd prefer if we did [finish]," he said. "I think we're going to run out of time. If we do start in another 10 minutes, which I doubt, we can get through Q2 but I don't think we'll have time to do Q3.

    "The stewards can decide the grid based what has already happened or decide to run Q2 and Q3 tomorrow. However, it's a very busy programme tomorrow and I'm sure some of the historic events won't be pleased if they are moved."

  62. 0738: 

    Just to let you know BBC Radio 5 live have switched to BBC Breakfast while we wait for the session to restart. Don't worry, though. James Allen and co will be back when/if the session resumes.

  63.  

    Former Caterham and McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen: "C'mon the rain is not that bad, get on with it..."

  64. 0734: 

    I'm hearing that if qualifying can't be finished before sunset, which is in just under an hour, Q2 and Q3 would run on Sunday morning. So prepare yourselves for another early start tomorrow, folks.

  65. 0732: 

    On hearing the announcement, most of the drivers waste no time in getting out of their cars. Again. Red Bull's Mark Webber can't be bothered to move, though. The Australian takes off his helmet, but decides to stay in the cockpit and studying the screens. If he's got the same pictures as me, it'll be lots of people in the crowd waving and generally larking about in the rain.

  66. 0730: 

    I've just grabbed myself a bowl of cereal and a fresh cuppa, which was useful because we've got another 20 minute delay. That means a new estimated restart of 0750 GMT.

  67. 0725: 

    If we don't get restarted, the grid would be based on the times from Q1. That would put Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on the front row, alongside Romain Grosjean in the Lotus. Sergio Perez who be alongside Mark Webber on the second row, ahead of Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Jean-Eric Vergne and Lewis Hamilton. Tasty.

  68. 0720: 

    Race director Charlie Whiting says there is the prospect of heavy showers between now and he's "not 100% confident" we will be able to start at the rescheduled start time of 0730 GMT.

  69.  

    Marussia driver Max Chilton, who starts 20th: "The conditions are pretty challenging, but these cars have so much downforce and as soon as they get out they clear the [water off] track. My visor was clear pretty quickly, but when you're behind a car the visibility is pretty bad. The target tomorrow is to bring the cars home in front of the Caterhams."

  70. 0715: 

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, his team boss Stefano Domenicali and two engineers are deep in conversation as they try to pass the time before the final two segments of qualifying. We've only got one hour and 20 minutes until the sun sets in Melbourne so time is running out.

  71.  

    McLaren test driver Gary Paffett: "The rain always makes it less about the cars and more about the drivers. That session was a bit of a lottery, it was about being on the right tyre at the right time. We had a good session so so far, so good.

    "We made a few changes overnight as the car was feeling quite unpredictable. Jenson and Sergio only did a few laps in the dry this morning, but they were reporting that the car felt a bit more predictable which is encouraging."

  72. 0707: 

    Force India's Adrian Sutil is out of the car, much like most of his rivals, and busy studying the data screens at the back of the garage. Meanwhile, Ferrari's Felipe Massa is sat in his comfy red leather chair with his arms folded, chatting to his father.

  73.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Alex Withington: ‏"Dear Charlie, I do have dinner plans..."

  74. 0705: 

    We've got another delay, but this time it's 20 minutes, so we're looking at start time of around 0730 GMT.

  75.   
    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "They had a heatwave here, the hottest weather on record before we arrived."

  76.  

    Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde, who will start 21st after a crash in Q1: "It's very, very slippery. Everybody was spinning off - also me. Last lap I had double yellows so I had to back off. It's very exciting, you work all your life for this."

  77. 0702: 

    Absolute carnage in Q1. What a session. Ferrari will be busy checking Felipe Massa's car after the Brazilian got up close and personal with the barriers, but it's much more serene on the other side of the garage as Fernando Alonso sits calmly in his cockpit.

  78.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Paul Williams Purcell: "A decent living to be made from selling the scrap carbon fibre front wings that the F1 drivers have left littered about Albert Park."

  79. 0659: 

    It's good news for Mercedes, too, as it gives them the opportunity to change Lewis Hamilton's rear wing. The estimated start time is now 0710 GMT.

  80. 0658: 

    We've got another delay of 10 minutes, folks, as the rain intensifies. The break will be useful for the marshals who have to clear Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber off the track as well as picking up bits of Caterham and Ferrari that are dotted around the track.

  81. 0656: 

    IN: 1) Rosberg 2) Alonso 3) Grosjean 4) Perez 5) Webber 6) Massa 7) Vettel 8) Button 9) Vergne 10) Hamilton 11) Raikkonen 12) Di Resta 13) Hulkenberg 14) Ricciardo 15) Bottas 16) Sutil

  82. 0654: 

    As BBC radio 5 live pit-lane report Jennie Gow predicted, the rain is coming down heavily again. Full wets, rather than inters, will be the order of the day.

  83. 0653: 
    OUT

    Williams were very late in deciding to choose the intermediate tyre and as a result, Pastor Maldonado is the first big name to miss out.

    OUT: 17) Pastor Maldonado 18) Esteban Gutierrez 19) Jules Bianchi 20) Max Chilton 21) Giedo van der Garde 22) Charles Pic

  84. 0652: 
    FIRST QUALIFYING ENDS

    Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in the first session of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

  85. 0651: 
    YELLOW FLAG

    Nico Rosberg regains P1, but we've got yellow flags galore as Charles Pic becomes the second Caterham to lose a front wing as he clatters the barriers. Moments later, Esteban Gutierrez touches the white line, just like Felipe Massa did earlier, and smashes into the barrier front first.

  86. 0650: 

    It's all changing as Fernando Alonso goes fastest from Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez.

  87. 0649: 

    Turn 11 is catching everyone out at the moment. Paul di Resta gets on the brakes and the rear of his Force India just snaps out. The Scot catches it but has no choice but to take to the grass keep the car pointing in the right direction.

  88.   
    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow

    "We're now expecting some very heavy rain. Those on intermediates might regret making that decision."

  89. 0648: 

    Jenson Button is flying out there - as Gary says, the inters are the tyres to be on clearly - and the McLaren goes fastest by nearly a second. Felipe Massa, who had a big off earlier, is back out there with a new front wing. The Brazilian goes second on the inters.

  90. 0647: 

    Giedo van der Garde, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Pic, Pastor Maldonado, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton are currently in the drop zone.

  91.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "The right time is right now for intermediates."

  92. 0646: 

    Jenson Button has blinked and gone for the intermediate tyres. The Briton is currently 15th, two places above the drop zone, so he needs to nail a decent time with four minutes remaining.

  93. 0645: 

    Cars are going off the track left, right and centre. First Sergio Perez gets it wrong comping out of the penultimate corner, but he glides serenely across the track and keeps his McLaren out of the barriers. Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber and Pastor Maldonado in the Williams also take trips across the grass.

  94. 0643: 

    Jean-Eric Vergne is absolutely flying in the Toro Rosso, the Frenchman going fastest of all by two tenths. But his time at the top is short-lived as Sebastian Vettel slices 0.151 seconds off that to take P1.

  95.  

    Nico Rosberg's race engineer over team radio: "You're still the quickest car, but we don't want you to push anymore. Save your tyres."

  96. 0642: 
    CRASH!

    MORE DRAMA! Felipe Massa gets on the power while on the kerb at Turn 11. Big mistake. The Ferrari spins across the track and smashes into the barrier not once, but twice. Somehow, though, he manages to continue back to the pits. Can the team repair that car in time?

  97. 0639: 

    Lewis Hamilton doesn't appear to be taking any notice of that message as he's still pounding round the track with that rear wing endplate flapping around. He goes third fastest, one second off the pace.

  98.  

    Lewis Hamilton's race engineer over team radio: "OK Lewis looks like you've got rear wing damage. Box, box…"

  99. 0638: 

    Nico Rosberg is currently the fastest man out on track, followed by Jean-Eric Vergne, Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso. Drivers are backing each other up as they try to find space out on track. Lots of jostling for position.

  100.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "Lewis touched the wall with his right-rear wheel. He could have suspension problems."

  101. 0636: 

    Lewis Hamilton gets out of shape coming through Turn Two, spins his Mercedes, hits the wall lightly and beaches his car on the stodgy grass on the exit. The 2008 world champion spins the wheel but can't get the car moving. He then cleverly chooses reverse and manages to slide back onto the track. Hamilton has a broken rear wing endplate but lives to fight another day.

  102. 0634: 
    THAT'S INCREDIBLE!

    DRAMA! LEWIS HAMILTON HAS STOPPED OUT ON TRACK

  103. 0633: 

    Nico Rosberg sets the early pace, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Jean-Eric Vergne.

  104. 0633: 
    THAT'S INCREDIBLE!

    Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde is the first man to get caught out by the conditions as he's trailing around without a front wing. Whoops.

  105. 0632: 

    Lots of drivers going very slowly at the final two corners as they try to find themselves some space to get a clear lap. Lewis Hamilton is the first man across the line and sends the tail of his Mercedes wagging as he's runs wide at Turn Three.

  106. 0631: 

    Hamilton will have the best view, as he's right at the front of the pack with no spray harming his view. His engineer tells him to work the brakes and watch out for the white lines which will be slippery.

  107. 0630: 
    FIRST QUALIFYING STARTS

    Lewis Hamilton leads a long queue of cars away as qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix finally gets under way.

  108. 0629: 

    The medical car has been out and has evidently given the thumbs up because Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have headed out of the Mercedes garage and parked up down at the exit of the pit-lane waiting for the green light.

  109. 0627: 

    Bored? Spare a thought for those watching the 1991 Australian Grand Prix, which was abandoned following torrential rain during the race at Adelaide. Ayrton Senna won, surprise sursprise, but even he wanted it to stop, waving his hands wildly out of the cockpit as he drove down the start-finish straight. What's that? You want to watch it? Well, here you go.

  110. 0625: 

    Sebastian Vettel seems unfazed by the delay. The reigning world champion is sat in his Red Bull with his balaclava on, studying some data while keeping an eye on the screens for the latest.

  111.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jack Brayshaw in Bristol: "In the wet conditions, and armed with a renewed passion for racing, Hamilton is the only man who can take the fight to Red Bull this weekend."

  112. 0620: 

    I'm afraid there's more bad news. We've got our third delay of the morning, with the new estimated start time now 0630 GMT. The rain is still falling, though, I suspect there will be more delays. Pop the kettle on.

  113. 0617: 

    Double world champion Mika Hakkinen, triumphant in 1998 and 1999 with McLaren, gives us a wave as he passes the time chatting to his former Didier Coton under cover in team hospitality.

  114.   
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator James Allen

    "One of the very best at reading changing conditions is Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg."

  115. 0615: 

    The medical car is back out again to assess the conditions. Fingers crossed race control deem the track safe enough to get this session under way at 0620 GMT.

  116.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Phil1878:‏ "Damn you rain! Have we not waited long enough for the season to begin?"

  117.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "There isn't an awful lot of time to play with here in Albert Park. The sun sets at about 1930 local time - which is just over two hours away. The problem with these delays is that more rain is apparently coming. If they cannot run qualifying, they could always do so on Sunday. There's plenty of time then - the race does not start until 1700 local time."

  118. 0614: 

    Just a reminder of the tyres that are available this weekend from Pirelli. We've got the super-soft - which is the option and has red markings - and the medium (white) - which is the prime, plus the intermediates (green) and full wets (blue).

  119. 0610: 

    It's another delay of 10 minutes, I'm afraid as the rain continues to fall. The marshals are doing a grand job attempting to sweep the standing water off the track. There's even a lad out there with one of those leafblowers - not sure that's proving all that effective, though.

  120.   
    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "The tyres and cars are not designed for this amount of standing water. This is a street circuit of course, with concrete walls, and a race car against concrete - we know who is going to come off best."

  121. 0607: 

    Mercedes sporting director Toto Wolff - who sounds remarkably like Arnold Schwarzenegger - thinks it's a "sensible decision" to delay the start of the session because "it's very very wet at the moment." Speaking about Lewis Hamilton's chances of taking pole position, he said: "We should be careful, take it easy."

  122. 0605: 

    The medical car has headed out on track to assess the conditions. If you're just joining us expecting to see the latest on qualifying, the session has been delayed until 0610 GMT as a result of the weather.

  123.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Craig Hale: "Oh F1! How I have missed you."

    Mark Plummer: "Can't quite believe that I've managed to wake up for qualifying. Albert Park, Melbourne: my favourite grand prix!"

    Jag: "Ooohhhh wet qualifying in Melbourne for the #F1. This may help #McLaren. So happy F1 is back."

    Have your say using the hashtag #bbcf1 or text 81111 (UK only).

  124. 0602: 

    Lots of standing water out there at the moment. Bad conditions for Formula 1 cars, but great for the local wildlife. We've got a flock of seagulls and a couple of ducks waddling about down at Turn One.

  125. 0600: 

    Qualifying should have started, but the race director Charlie Whiting has decided to delay the session by 10 minutes. That's not surprising considering the adverse weather conditions.

  126. 0555: 

    I feel for the fans in the grandstands and on the grassed banks. The rain is hammering down and there's very little cover. We've got streams forming on the track while the grass on the inside of Turn One is waterlogged.

  127.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Rohan Manaktala: "After too long a winter, welcome back F1! Alonso for pole in Melbourne!"

  128. 0550: 

    The rain has started falling again in Melbourne with 10 minutes to go until qualifying. That certainly spices things up because this year, six drivers will get knocked out in Q1 - after HRT dropped out - which will put pressure on the midfield teams. A further six will get knocked out in Q2, leaving 10 to fight it out for pole.

  129.  

    OptaJim: "64.7% - The percentage of race winners that have started on the front row whilst the Australian F1 has been held at Albert Park. Importance."

  130. 0545: 

    Last year, McLaren locked out the front row - however judging by their pace sp far this weekend, that looks unlikely. Of the 22 drivers on the grid, only four have previous started on P1 - Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

  131.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "A problem with the telemetry between the cars and race control means the drivers will be without their cockpit warning lights in qualifying and the race - these replicate the flag signals given at the side of the track. Race control will also not be able to deactivate the DRS overtaking aid, which drivers are not allowed to use in wet conditions. However, race officials will be able to tell if drivers use the DRS. If that happens in qualifying, they would lose that lap time."

  132. 0540: 

    Lots of activity in the pit-lane as the teams put the finishing touches to their cars ahead of qualifying. In the paddock, it's all about finding some cover from the persistent rain, which does appear to be easing off.

  133.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "Sometimes having a bad car in F1 can be a good thing in the end. It means you have to research more and find out why - and that can provide answers to things you didn't know were problems. Just as Ferrari struggled early on last year and appear to have made a decent step forward with their 2013 car, so that's also the case with Mercedes, who were off the pace at the end of last year.

    "I was critical of their front wing philosophy last year but now it is current technology, even if there is still room for them to go further. The car has lots of grip and looks driver-friendly - in that it responds to the driver pushing it harder, so he can influence car performance. That is not always the car - sometimes the car has a window where it has a limit and it won't respond well to going beyond it. With the Mercedes, it can be pushed and still remain relatively benign. That's a big help for driver confidence."

  134.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jacques: "If it is wet all through qualifying, I fancy Hamilton for pole. If dry towards the end, either Vettel or Alonso! Welcome back F1!"

  135. 0534: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel stopped out on track in third practice earlier this morning with what the team have now confirmed was a "sensor issue".

  136. 0530: 

    This is your 30 minute warning. While the Royal Australian Air Force entertain the crowds above Melbourne, I suggest you get that bacon in the grill, the eggs in the pan and the coffee brewing. Qualifying is almost upon us, folks.

  137.  

    Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde: "Still raining here. Qualifying starts in 35 min. Interesting."

  138. 0523: 

    The stewards have been busy during the break. Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg has been handed a €1000 fine for speeding in the pit-lane and, as I suspected, Force India's Adrian Sutil is under investigation for using the DRS in the wet.

  139.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "Lotus appear to have kept the good characteristics of their car from last year, in that it appears to be very easy on the tyres. The question is are they fast enough in qualifying. That was where they needed to take a step forward, and it does look like they have."

  140. 0518: 

    For those of you who missed third practice, Romain Grosjean was fastest in the Lotus, ahead of the two Ferraris. Dry running was limited after a rain shower hit midway through the session.

  141.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "It has been raining pretty heavily in the break between practice and qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix and qualifying will certainly start wet. That throws everything up in the air. Rival teams agree that Red Bull - especially Sebastian Vettel - look forbiddingly fast throughout Friday practice but the rain is a wild card. It means that a picture of the true competitive order will not emerge. But it throws a delicious element of unpredictability into the mix. Given Red Bull's performance, that's a good thing for anyone hoping for an exciting race on Sunday."

  142. 0512: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Everything is pointing towards Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull to take P1, but I just have this nagging feeling Lewis Hamilton will snatch it - so that's who I'm plumping for. Agree? Disagree? Get in touch using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those messages.

  143. 0508: 
    PREDICTION TIME

    I'll admit that I was starting to flag during the break, but the thought of a potentially tantalising qualifying session ahead - and the return of Lawro's pole position predictions for another season - has perked me up again...

  144.  

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas: "Hmm raining now heavily. Qualifying starts in one hour. Should be interesting ;)"

  145. 0505: 

    Welcome, one and all, to qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. After bathing in beautiful sunshine on Friday, Melbourne received a battering of wind and rain for third practice - and the good news (or bad depending on how you look at it) is that the wet stuff is sticking around for qualifying.

  146. 0500: 

    Hello. I knew you'd be back. We're just one hour away from qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. Excited? Thought so. Lets do this.

  147. 0420: 

    Here's Andrew Benson third and final practice report which sums up the action. Once you've had a read of that, get yourself a power nap, setting the alarm for 0459 GMT as I'll be back one minute later to start building you up to the first qualifying session for the year. I. Simply. Cannot. Wait. See you in a bit.

  148. 0415: 

    But all that is, of course, great news for us because it means qualifying should be brilliantly competitive. The format has been tweaked slightly this year, following the demise of HRT, but more on that later on my return...

  149. 0412: 

    Back to F1 and I think it's fair to say we can't take much from that session. There'll be plenty of head-scratching in the paddock, I'm sure, not least because not only do the teams still not know the relative performance of their cars, but rain is set to play havoc in qualifying.

  150. 0409: 

    Earlier this morning, Britain's Sir Chris Hoy ditched his traditional two-wheeled form of transport for four wheels and an engine when he took part in a celebrity Mazda race at Albert Park. Yesterday, he ended up in the gravel but today he climbed for 20th to fifth - taking a fair few hits along the way.

  151. 0407: 

    Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has left the pitwall and is back in the garage examining the state of the intermediate tyres. Meanwhile, in the paddock, British Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy is taking in the atmosphere.

  152.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "Red Bull kept their cards close to their chests in testing but the car looked good on track and it was obvious it was quick. The question was, how quick. Well, Friday here in Melbourne showed that they are back on top of the pile again. They ran a new front wing on the last two days in Barcelona a fortnight ago but went no quicker even though the track was faster, but they have gone back a step on the front wing here and the car has looked competitive from the start. Comparing their times in pre-season testing with those here in Melbourne suggests they were running with in excess of 80kg of fuel - more than half a tank - at all times during the winter."

  153. 0405: 
    THE STANDINGS

    1) Romain Grosjean 2) Fernando Alonso 3) Felipe Massa 4) Paul di Resta 5) Kimi Raikkonen 6) Daniel Ricciardo 7) Jean-Eric Vergne 8) Adrian Sutil 9) Nico Hulkenberg 10) Esteban Gutierrez 11) Nico Rosberg

    12) Sebastian Vettel 13) Mark Webber 14) Jules Bianchi 15) Giedo van der Garde 16) Charles Pic 17) Jenson Button 18) Sergio Perez 19) Pastor Maldonado 20) Valtteri Bottas 21) Max Chilton 22) Lewis Hamilton

  154. 0402: 

    The times don't mean much, because very little meaningful running was done before the rain hit midway through the session.

  155. 0400: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG

    Romain Grosjean of Lotus sets the fastest time in a rain-affected third and final practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

  156. 0359: 

    Just seen a replay of Adrian Sutil using the DRS down the start-finish straight in his Force India. A graphic then pops up on the screen to remind us that the system is disabled because of the conditions. The German may be required in the stewards' office shortly...

  157. 0357: 

    Nico Hulkenberg bounces across the kerbs, kicks up the dirt and has to control a tankslapper as his Sauber gets all out of shape. The German is really pushing on the slippery track.

  158. 0355: 

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg's race engineer tells him to look after his current set of inters because they might need them for qualifying.

  159. 0353: 

    Vettel, who set the pace on Friday, climbs out of the car and calmly puts the steering wheel back in before trudging away. The team told the German to stop the car out on track because they could see from the data that he had lost hydraulics.

  160. 0351: 
    RETIREMENT

    RED BULL'S REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION SEBASTIAN VETTEL HAS STOPPED OUT ON TRACK

  161. 0349: 

    Lewis Hamilton informs his team that the track conditions are improving dramatically which suggests it's time to ditch the full wets and bolt on a set of inters.

  162.   
    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie

    "Max Chilton has got himself into a position where he's been very fortunate not to have a regular team-mate over the winter so he has done twice as much testing as anybody else and it's been good for him. Now he's got a difficult team-mate at Marussia in Jules Bianchi because Jules is very talented. Yes, he's a rookie, but he's more experienced and has had plenty of simulator time. Max need to have a good rookie season and learn about every single tiny aspect about F1.

  163.   
    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow

    "Max is still pretty young at 21 and has a lot to learn, but he's a really nice guy. Sitting down with him, what you see is what you get. He's very easy to talk to. I asked him in Barcelona if he was planning to move to Monaco and he said: "No, I like Monaco but I'm quite happy being in Britain." He's got his feet on the ground and has the potential to be very good."

  164. 0346: 

    The Marussia inter-team battle will be an interesting one. Jules Bianchi is highly rated, and is part of the Ferrari driver academy, while Max Chilton, the fourth Briton on the grid, has shown good form in feeder series GP2. How do the BBC pundits thing Chilton will perform?

  165. 0345: 

    The rain is good news for one driver - Jules Bianchi. The Frenchman, who was the Force India reserve last year, has not had a single lap of running in the wet - having signed for Marussia so late.

  166. 0342: 

    For what it's worth, I'm told the heavy rain has now passed and things should only get better for the remaining 18 minutes of the session. The wet stuff is expected to return, though, sometime around qualifying. Lovely.

  167.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "Ferrari look certain to be challenging close to the front. Both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were on it and I have a feeling in my water that that they have not yet shown their full potential. They will be disappointed that Red Bull were as quick as they were but that doesn't mean Ferrari haven't done a good job; just that Red Bull have taken the next step."

  168. 0337: 

    Big slide for Felipe Massa, the rear of his Ferrari stepping out of line as he gets on the power on the slippery kerb. The Brazilian catches it, though, and is right back on the gas.

    Fernando Alonso has headed out to join his team-mate - and has been told by his engineer that it's slippery at Turn Eight and to be careful at Turn 12 where Massa had his moment.

  169. 0336: 

    Felipe Massa is the first man brave enough to take on the slippery conditions out at Albert Park. The scarlet Ferrari bolts on a set of the blue-lined wet tyre and puts the power down.

  170. 0333: 

    Hamilton has been in good form since dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's on his Mercedes contract. The 2008 world champion loves his new team and seems to have become quite fond of his new car - which explains why he was quite upset when he had his little "off" yesterday. "I went in the garage and saw all the chips on the side of the car and I thought 'Oh, I can't believe it, my paintjob'," he said. "So I got the polish out and tried to polish them out, but it didn't work!"

  171. 0329: 

    On Friday, Lewis Hamilton said he was "massively excited" by the performance of his Mercedes in the first practice session. The Briton was fourth fastest in first practice, but he had a bit of a moment in the second session. "I was braking for Turn Six, turned in and the car didn't turn in. Thankfully nothing was really damaged. The positive thing is the car is really competitive. I can't believe it."

  172. 0325: 

    The rain continues to fall in Melbourne with 35 minutes to go of this session. Lots of debris, such as leaves and branches, has been blown onto the track so the drivers will need to be wary of that. The track temperature is down to 21C, with humidity still hovering around 74%.

  173.  

    Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali: "The plan is to try first of all to follow the weather. Now we need to see how the weather will change. If it is a wet session we need to be ready mentally and we will not see the exact performance of all the cars because there are other factors to consider.

    "We will see (this weekend) where our base will be and build from that because it is a long time to the end of November. Up to now, it doesn't count. If McLaren are having difficulties they will recover, and Red Bull are a strong team because they won the last championship. Ferrari's objective is very clear."

  174. 0321: 

    Bit of a nightmare for everyone, this. The drivers are facing a frustrating morning sat in the cockpit of their new 2013 machines unable to turn a wheel while the fans are getting battered by wind and rain with only a plastic bin bag-style cagoules for protection.

  175. 0318: 

    Unsurprisingly, the drivers are backing off the pace and crawling back to the puts to take cover.

  176. 0317: 

    Get those raincoats, folks. The wet stuff is falling.

  177. 0316: 

    Romain Grosjean has gone quickest of all with a 1:26.929 in the Lotus, with Fernando Alonso second and Felipe Massa down to third.

  178. 0315: 

    It's very busy out on track. I'm not surprised. The wind has picked up and those clouds hanging over Albert Park are looking mighty heavy. Teams will be keep to get a option tyre run in super quick before the rain starts to fall.

  179.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "I'm surprised by McLaren's problems. When we saw the car at the launch in January, it was clear they had made a step in lots of areas, but in terms of performance the car has gone backwards. They have opened lots of doors to new performance - with things like the raised nose, front suspension and tightly packaged rear bodywork - but not exploited the potential. It's clear the problems are not all aerodynamic. The car has always had understeer but now it has a loose rear end as well, as if they have reduced rear grip to balance the problem at the front and just ended up with a horrible car. They've got to get on top of it, but it's not clear from what they have been saying so far this weekend that they know how."

  180.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom from Runcorn: "The Ferrari looked doomed at the first race last season, and ended up within a few points of winning the whole thing. Fingers crossed for McLaren!"

  181.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "Jenson Button has won this race for three of the last four years but a fourth win looks a distant prospect at the moment. He was 2.4 seconds off the pace in Friday practice and at the moment McLaren look like they will be struggling even to get beyond the first knock-out part of qualifying. Button admitted there was "a lot of work to do" and team boss Martin Whitmarsh said it was one of the hardest days he could remember at a race track. For a team that ended 2012 with the fastest car, how can things have gone so badly wrong?"

  182.  
    GET INVOLVED

    GB Track cycling gold medallist Philip Hindes:‏ "Formula 1 starts again! The weekends are getting a lot better!"

  183. 0310: 

    Fernando Alonso is our new leader in the Ferrari, clocking 1:27.537, but his time at the top of the charts doesn't last long as his team-mate Felipe Massa inches ahead by a tenth.

  184. 0307: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    Talking of Vettel, the reigning world champion is sporting another new helmet this weekend. This one is an astronaut-style all white number to pay tribute to Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartmer who jumped from the edge of space and broke sound barrier last year.

  185. 0305: 

    We don't have to wait long for lap times as five drivers cross the line in quick succession. Mark Webber is the early pacesetter in his Red Bull, clocking 1:31.171 which is just over five seconds than team-mate Sebastian Vettel managed when he topped the times yesterday.

  186. 0300: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The pit lane is open and Esteban Gutierrez is the first man out in his Sauber. The weather radar suggests that rain is 20km away and heading for the circuit, but it's not expected to arrive for the first part of the session. For now, teams will have to make do with overcast and muggy conditions.

  187. 0257: 

    The engines are firing up which can only mean one thing, we're just minutes away from the start of practice. This session is just one hour and will see the teams use the super-soft option tyre towards the end of the session to prepare for qualifying.

  188. 0255: 

    James Allen is up and running in the BBC Radio 5 live commentary box alongside Gary Anderson with Jennie Gow down in the pit lane. You can listen to them by clicking on the link on the right-hand side of this page right now.

  189.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "The Red Bull looks good. We saw in Barcelona, the car looked well balanced and had lots of grip. It's clearly very easy to do lap-times. We saw Sebastian do his quickest time on his third lap on Friday - nobody else could do that - so it's looking good for them."

  190.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "Expectation and excitement was high heading into this weekend. All the predictions were that the top teams were close, even if there was a sneaking suspicion that Red Bull might have something in their pocket. Well, it's fair to say that Friday's practice sessions rather pricked the bubble. The Red Bull - especially in Sebastian Vettel's hands - looked in a league of its own. It is very early days - the first qualifying session of the new season happens later on Saturday - but right now it is hard to see beyond the German dominating this weekend from pole position - and continuing to do the same for much of the season."

  191. 0247: 

    Yep, Ricciardo is not wrong about the weather. BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson says it's "tricky" to predict what will happen today. At the moment, it's gloriously sunny in Melbourne but according to Fergusson, the rainfall radar indicates a number of showers to the south west of the city are currently making a beeline for the track. Could qualifying be hit by the wet stuff? Watch this space.

  192.  

    Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo: "So there's a chance of rain today. Could make qualifying interesting. I ain't complaining with that."

  193.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Melbourne:

    "They say you can't tell anything from Friday testing, well, that may be so in absolute terms, but the first three hours of running at grand prix in 2013 certainly revealed a lot. Red Bull look terrifyingly quick. Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus appear their closest rivals. And McLaren are in serious trouble. Final practice and qualifying will reveal more - as long as it doesn't rain. The sky cleared around lunchtime after morning rain but more rain is expected this afternoon. That should spice things up a bit."

  194. 0239: 
    GET INVOLVED

    I'm sure you don't want to just listen to me blithering on all morning so don't be be shy and get in touch with all your F1 musings. Do you think Red Bull are the ones to beat? Can Mercedes spring a surprise? Will Ferrari be in the fight? What of McLaren's plight?

    You know the score. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name - and location if you wish - on those texts or they won't see the light of day I'm afraid.

  195. 0236: 

    For those who joined me yesterday, I do hope you got a decent kip. I went for a two-sleep strategy and am feeling better for it. That's just as well as we've got a long morning/night ahead of us with third and final practice kick starting at 0300 GMT. That session will last an hour and will be followed by a two-hour break before the first qualifying session of the year commences at 0600 GMT.

  196. 0233: 

    Hello and a very warm welcome to our coverage of third practice and qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne's Albert Park. Sebastian Vettel was inch perfect on Friday, but hope came in the form of the Ferraris and Mercedes who looked in decent form.

  197. 0230: 

    Hungry Heidi had obviously had a hearty breakfast yesterday morning because once she hit the Albert Park track, with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel at the helm, no one could touch her. After a winter which promised so much from Red Bulls rivals, we arrive in Melbourne on qualifying day for the season opening Australian Grand Prix with an overriding feeling that Vettel and his team are still a step ahead.

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Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 165
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 161
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 98
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 87
5 Finland V Bottas Williams 73
6 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 70
7 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 63
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren 55
9 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 35
10 Brazil F Massa Williams 30
11 Mexico S Perez Force India 28
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 19
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 9
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 6
16 France J Bianchi Marussia 2
17 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0
19 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
21 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0
22 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham 0

Results

After 52 of 52 laps
Position Driver Team

Race completed

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Finland V Bottas Williams
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Great Britain J Button McLaren
5 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
6 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
7 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
8 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
9 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
10 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
11 Mexico S Perez Force India
12 France R Grosjean Lotus
13 Germany A Sutil Sauber
14 France J Bianchi Marussia
15 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham
16 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
17 Venezuela P Maldonado (ret.) Lotus
18 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
19 Sweden M Ericsson (ret.) Caterham
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Brazil F Massa (ret.) Williams
22 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari