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Malaysia 2010 - Qualifying highlights - Lap by lap coverage of the red flagged session in Sepang

Published by Christine

The rain finally made a huge impact on a session, and from the very start, we knew we were in for an interesting session. The big names fell early, and Q3 saw a red flag due to conditions. Read on for how qualifying unfolded, step by step.

As it happened: 2010 Malaysia - Qualifying

  • 08:30

    Hello everyone! Welcome back to our second Factbyte Factbox session of the day. Qualifying gets underway in about 30 minutes. All looking forward to it, I hope.

  • 08:30

    My favourite tweet of the last twenty minutes or so. From @clubforce: Rain watch: it's not raining.

  • 08:34

    From @redbullf1spy: The crew say goodbye to three litres of sweat as they climb into their race overalls. They'll be beyond skinny come 5pm.

  • 08:38

    The BBC are streaming qualifying live for those in the UK: Currently an interview with Senna and Chandhok.

  • 08:39

    Autosport Live will be providing text commentary: (it hasn't started yet).

  • 08:40

    Some clouds... and a thumb:

  • 08:44

    Nathan is at the track and reports in the comments: "I can see rain falling in the distance now."

  • 08:51

    McLaren radio: Weather radar indicates this is the beginning of a larger band of rain sweeping over the circuit.

  • 08:57

    Live timing has reset. Track temp - 31. Air temp - 31.

  • 08:58

    From @clubforce: both drivers in cars now waiting to go out. plans changing rapidly depending on weather updates

  • 08:58

    Hulkenberg's radio: "This is the worst the weather will get, then it should get better. Run as long as we can, then we'll get dries on."

  • 09:00

    Session starts, cars lining up at the end of the pitlane to go out.

  • 09:00

    Lots of spray on this first lap.

  • 09:01

    11 cars out instantly. Vettel heads up the main runners after a moments wait.

  • 09:01

    From @InsideFerrari: with these conditions it will be crucial to choose the right time to run

  • 09:02

    From @luizrazia: Lucas Di Grassi has a problem in his car let's hope he can go out and qualify

  • 09:02

    Nathan's view from the grandstand:

  • 09:03

    From @VirginRacing: Standard pose in the pitlane is to hold your arm out and look at the sky

  • 09:03

    Petrov has spun it, but continues onwards. 5live reporting the rain has stopped and things should dry up now.

  • 09:05

    Buemi has set the initial benchmark of the day, a 1:48.945. Vettel had a slow first lap, slotting into 5th place.

  • 09:05

    McLarens, Mercedes, Ferrari, Massa and di Grassi remain in the pitlane.

  • 09:06

    Buemi runs off track and into the gravel - follows the grass back to the track and continues.

  • 09:06

    McLaren are ready to leave the pits. Button heads out.

  • 09:08

    Rain coming out again. The remaining drivers head out of the pitlane sharpish. Only di Grassi remains in the garage.

  • 09:09

    Liuzzi spins but continues. Senna runs off into the gravel - looks like he's stuck.

  • 09:10

    Hamilton spun it, stays out of the gravel though, and continues.

  • 09:11

    Current order: KUB, DEL, VET, PET, KOB.

  • 09:11

    Drivers without a time: ROS, WEB, MAS, DIG.

  • 09:11

    Button spins off into the gravel, stuck. Petrov at the same corner avoids Button and manages to keep going.

  • 09:13

    Button aquaplaned off. For a moment, the marshals looked like they were trying to push him out but it was to no avail. The JCB arrived.

  • 09:13

    Schumacher has bolted on full wet tyres.

  • 09:14

    Di Grassi still hasn't left the garage. Hamilton is currently last. Button is 13th but out of the session.

  • 09:14

    The bottom seven: Di Grassi, Hamilton, Senna, Chandhok, Alonso, Massa, Trulli.

  • 09:15

    Hamilton slip slides his way back to the pitlane.

  • 09:15

    Schumacher instructed over the radio to be careful. The track may not be quick enough to improve, and "the last thing we want is to be in the gravel."

  • 09:16

    Lucas di Grassi out on track.

  • 09:18

    Potential big winners - Glock in 15th, Kovalainen 17th. Potential big losers - Both Ferrari's and Hamilton.

  • 09:18

    Fernando Alonso spins a 360 to continue onwards.

  • 09:20

    Alonso doubles his last spin and still manages to keep going.

  • 09:21

    Alonso moves up to 19th, Hamilton 20th.

  • 09:22

    Fastest three - KUB, DEL, VET. Dropping out: TRU, ALO, HAM, MAS, CHD, SEN, DIG

  • 09:24

    From @VirginRacing: Q2 !!! Yay!!!

  • 09:24

    From @NobleF1: Can't wait to hear why McLaren and Ferrari stayed in the pits when the track was at its best

  • 09:26

    Cars lining up at the end of the pitlane again.

  • 09:27

    Petrov the first man out on track.

  • 09:28

    Button won't be able to take part in this session, everyone else has come out bar Timo Glock.

  • 09:29

    Schumacher team radio: "Rain in the next two minutes."

  • 09:30

    Glock leaves the pitlane, 16 drivers out on track.

  • 09:32

    Schumacher puts in the fastest time of Q2 so far - 1:50.611. Almost two seconds up on his Q1 time.

  • 09:32

    Glock spins and continues onwards.

  • 09:33

    Vettel pits for intermediate tyres. Webber queues up behind for the same.

  • 09:34

    Buemi runs wide and off track, but steers clear of the gravel.

  • 09:34

    Everyone has set a time now, except Glock. top three - PET, MSC, KUB.

  • 09:35

    In the drop zone - SUT, BAR, LIU, KOV, BUE, GLO and BUT.

  • 09:35

    Vettel team radio - "Rain may be on the way, set a time NOW."

  • 09:35

    Schumacher regains P1.

  • 09:37

    Barrichello goes fastest, instantly beaten by Hulkenberg and then Vettel. Times down to 1:47.003.

  • 09:38

    Kubica up to P1. Rosberg improves to P3. The bottom seven now - KOB, DEL, GLO, ALG, KOV, BUE, BUT.

  • 09:39

    Kobayashi jumps up to P6.

  • 09:39

    Drops Webber into the drop zone.

  • 09:41

    Webber improves to 7th.

  • 09:43

    Top three - VET, KUB, SUT. Bottom seven - PET, DEL, BUE, ALG, KOV, GLO, BUT.

  • 09:45

    A top ten shoot out between: Vettel, Kubica, Sutil, Hulkenberg, Rosberg, Kobayashi, Webber, Liuzzi, Barrichello and Schumacher.

  • 09:45

    5live are reporting sightings of lightning.

  • 09:49

    Liuzzi radio: "We're going full wets. We need you to be the first guy at the end of the pitlane."

  • 09:50

    Orderly queue at the end of the pitlane, Kubica pulls out beside them and gets in front of the Force India.

  • 09:51

    Full wets, plenty of spray, everyone out on track.

  • 09:53

    Red flag. No times set as yet.

  • 09:53

    A very happy @tonyfernandes: Unbelievable. Heikki 15th. making steps forward. Awesome. We know what to do in the future. Jarno and heikki ahead of Ferrari and mcclaren

  • 09:55

    All drivers back in the pit lane safely.

  • 09:55

    Race control: Indefinite Delay.

  • 10:03

    Track temp - 24. Air temp - 26.

  • 10:06

    From @lucasdigrassi: Difficult day. Lots of problems. We almost didn't run qualifying trying to fix the car. Good effort from the mechanics, really impressive.

  • 10:06

    Session to restart in five minutes.

  • 10:07

    Liuzzi heading down the pitlane, still putting his gloves on. Waits at the red light, followed by Sutil.

  • 10:08

    Sutil pulls alongside Liuzzi, to stop any Kubica cheekiness.

  • 10:09

    Liuzzi radio: "Adrian is allowed to pull alongside, but I'll give you advance warning and you will beat him to turn one."

  • 10:10

    Session is go. Liuzzi does get out ahead of Sutil.

  • 10:11

    All drivers out on track.

  • 10:14

    Ah-ha, we have laptimes! Sutil 1:51.238, Kubica second 1:51.326.

  • 10:15

    All drivers have now set a time. Six drivers with 1:51s. Rosberg 1:56 in 10th.

  • 10:16

    Vettel on full wets is 6th. Webber on intermediate tyres takes P1.

  • 10:17

    Vettel improves to 3rd.

  • 10:17

    Webber is going even quicker, whilst everyone else can't seem to improve.

  • 10:18

    Top three - Webber, Rosberg and Vettel.

  • 10:22
  • 10:22

    Thanks to one and all for joining us for this rather exciting qualifying session. Let's hope for more of the same tomorrow!

All content in the series Malaysia 2010