Treacherous weather conditions at Interlagos have brought qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix to a halt as the teams and drivers wait to see if the session will be re-started.
Heavy showers in the morning had already cut final practice short, and although the rain had begun to ease ahead of the all crucial qualifying hour, the drivers still had to contend with treacherous conditions as they hit the wet and slippery track and battled to generate heat into their tyres for their first flying laps.
It didn’t take much to convince race control that the track was still too dangerous for the cars though. Q1 was stopped after only a few minutes when Giancarlo Fisichella aquaplaned off the track at the second Senna S.
When Q1 was eventually re-started, Nico Rosberg lapped quickest with championship contenders Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello sitting pretty in fifth and sixth place.
But it was the worst possible outcome for Sebastian Vettel who could only manage sixteenth after Red Bull Racing gambled on a dry car setup in anticipation of Sunday’s race.
McLaren also opted for a dry setup and that saw Lewis Hamilton engaged in a battle just to keep his car on the track, let alone produce a lap quick enough to progress to Q2. The Briton had a foray onto the grass and ended up eighteenth, behind teammate Heikki Kovalainen, but ahead of BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld.
Force India’s Tonio Liuzzi was race control’s hapless yellow canary in Q2. His VJM02 aquaplaned on the start/finish straight and careered into the outside wall, re-affirming the danger of the conditions.
The teams and drivers have been in limbo for over half an hour now as we wait to see if the qualifying session will continue. There are on-going track inspections.
Here is the current order from Q2:
1 Nico Rosberg Williams 2 Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen Ferrari 3 Robert Kubica BMW 4 Kazuki Nakajima Williams 5 Rubens Barrichello Brawn 6 Jenson Button Brawn 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 9 Adrian Sutil Force India 10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 12 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 13 Mark Webber Red Bull 14 Alguersuari Jaime Toro Rosso 15 Vitantanio Liuzzi Force India 16 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 17 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren 18 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 19 Nick Heidfeld BMW 20 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India