Live Commentary: Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying - as it happened

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel in Austin, Texas on November 17, 2012
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of the qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of the second and third qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix.

Yesterday's session had to be abandoned due to high winds and torrential rain in Melbourne, although the drivers did manage complete Q1.

Pastor Maldonado, Esteban Gutierrez, Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton, Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic have all been knocked out.

The race itself gets underway at 6am.

You can follow all the action from Q2 and Q3 with us below. Please note that qualifying starts at 12am.


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11.52pmWelcome back! Here we go again then, ready for Q2 and Q3? Well Mother Nature is too, thankfully. The rain has subsided, although the wind and gloomy skies persist.

11.53pmWe have racing weather though, so we will be finding out who will be starting on pole in just a couple of hours.

11.56pmFour of the five rookies have exited the running in Q1. Esteban Gutierrez, Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton and Giedo van der Garde have all gone by the wayside, although the Marussia pairing of Chilton and Bianchi will be happy to finish ahead of both Caterham drivers.

11.58pmCharles Pic also went out, while Pastor Maldonado was the biggest name in the Q1 drop zone.

11.59pmThe track is still a bit soggy, but there's no standing water and the drivers have got the intermediate tyres on. They'll need to warm up quickly.

Q2The green light is on and we are underway in Q2.

Q2Rosberg, who was fastest yesterday, is first out today. He's followed by teammate Lewis Hamilton and the two Toro Rossos.

Q2Dots of rain can be spotted on the camera lens, but there should be bothing too worry about this time. It just looks like a light shower... for now, at least.

Q2Rosberg has found the pace on the first lap once again, while Webber, Grosjean, Vergen, Raikkonen follow. Vettel's first lap is only good enough for eighth. He lost control slightly and went off track.


Q2The German makes up for it by going fastest on his next lap. Ricciardo, Button, Stuil, Massa, Hulkenberg and Bottas are all in the drop zone with just over seven minutes remaining.

Q2It's constant change on the board, although continuity is there in the form of Vettel, who is shaving off time with each lap. He's still fastest, with Button and Alonso now in tow.

Q2Hamilton has slipped into the knockout zone, as has Perez. The Mexican is the first man to come out of the garage on the slick tyres.

Q2Vettel still fastest, but now Rosberg and Webber are in second and third respectively. The slicks don't seem to be working for Perez, while Button looks uneasy on his set of slicks.

Q2Hamilton goes second fastest, but his teammate Perez needs to find a fast lap now. Just over three minutes remaining.

Q2Rosberg now sits atop the pile. He's loving these conditions. Alonso is second and Vettel third. Perez and Massa are the biggest names languishing in the knockout zone.

Q2The gamble to go on slick tyres has well and truly failed for McLaren. Button now slips down into the drop zone along with his teammate.

12.17amTime is up, and Massa recorded the fifth-fastest time just before the clock ticked out. Button also dragged himself out, but Perez has been cut. Disastrous decision to gamble on slicks.

12.18amRosberg, once again, is the fastest man on the track.

12.19amDRIVERS OUT: Hulkenberg, Sutil, Vergne, Ricciardo, Perez, Bottas.

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12.22amIt was Button who made the call to change from the slicks. A great decision by the former world champion, showing his wealth of experience there. He's got through into Q3.

Q3Right, Rosberg is first out in Q3. What can he do in this session? He's dominated so far, both yesterday and so far today. What has Vettel got up his sleeve?

Q3Hamilton goes quicker than Rosberg on the first lap of Q3.

Q3Button emerges from the garage on a set of slicks. The first sector looks okay, but the second and third sectors look tricky. We'll soon find out.

Q3Slick tyres for all now.

Q3Vettel is on provisional pole, followed by Hamilton and Rosberg.

Q3Button now goes fastest, but we still have just over a minute left and he'll only have time for one more lap. Plenty of drivers still on the track.

Q3Hamilton up into P1 now. Di Resta is second, but the bigger surprise is arguably Alonso only going seventh fastest. He'll do one more lap to redeem himself.

Q3Time up, and Vettel goes fastest. One more lap for the German though. Webber puts himself second provisionally, while Hamilton is third.

Q3Rosberg can only manage sixth.

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12.35amRight, we're all done and it's a front-row lockout for Red Bull.


12.40amWorld champion Sebastian Vettel found the pace once the slick tyres went on. He starts on pole for the first race of the season. Join us later for all the action from Albert Park. Until then, it's goodbye from me...

Sebastian Vettel in his team's pit on November 23, 2012
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