Vettel's title in tatters in qualifying rain

Heavy rain and treacherous track conditions caused hefty delays during qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday afternoon. Vitantonio Liuzzi had a big accident after aquaplaning on the pit straight, but by far the biggest scalp of the session is ...

Heavy rain and treacherous track conditions caused hefty delays during qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday afternoon.

Vitantonio Liuzzi had a big accident after aquaplaning on the pit straight, but by far the biggest scalp of the session is Sebastian Vettel, whose slim title hopes are in tatters after failing to graduate through Q1.

"Obviously it's extremely disappointing. That's life," said the German, but he was far less calm when he climbed out of his Red Bull having qualified 16th for a crucial race.

There were lengthy red-flag periods during the prolonged session, with the safety car regularly deployed to assess the slippery conditions.

At approaching 4pm, two hours after qualifying began, the medical car was still circulating to assess the track in hard driving rain.

Mark Webber appealed to the FIA's Charlie Whiting to "put his glasses on" and definitively end the session, and Jenson Button's father John said on British television BBC that pushing ahead is "ridiculous".

"I'm sorry for Vettel because I'm a racer too, but I'm happy for Jenson because it makes the job easier," said Button Snr, whose son now is on the cusp of securing the world championship on Sunday.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Mark Webber , Vitantonio Liuzzi , Sebastian Vettel