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Page last updated at 20:05 GMT, Saturday, 17 October 2009 21:05 UK

Brazilian GP qualifying as it happened



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By Caroline Cheese

2055: Think 'anon' might be speaking a touch too soon there, but certainly a good evening to be in the Barrichello camp. Time for us all to relax, eat and drink (non-alcoholic beverages) before we go again tomorrow. Race time: 1700 BST. DO NOT MISS IT.

From anon via text on 81111: "I really think that Barrichello will win the championship now. The momentum from this will surely carry over to Abu Dhabi?"

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From BulletMonkey on 606: "Barrichello's been on pole twice here and has never come higher than third. This is no forgone conclusion. That said, I think it's going to need a mistake from Rubens for Jenson to clinch it tomorrow now. He's not realistically going to earn enough points to shut him out, even though he did win his first ever Grand Prix from the same position he's in now."

Brawn team principal Ross Brawn: "We thought the wets would hold up and they didn't. We were lucky with Rubens, but not with Jenson. It was a poor call in the end. It was an easy decision (on tyres) in this last session and you could see what the car could do. We thought it was about not making a mistake, but perhaps we were too conservative."

2047: I nearly forgot to say: Mark Webber will be alongside Barrichello on the front row. Behind them, Adrian Sutil, Jarno Trulli, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastien Buemi.

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan: "It was a spectacular qualifying session. It seemed to be gone in a flash. It's brilliant for Brazil and brilliant for Rubens Barrichello."

2043: This was worth waiting for. The crowd have gone absolutely bananas as they celebrate their man's pole. "Rubinho, Rubinho, Rubinho..." He will start at the front, with his title rivals Jenson Button 14th and Seb Vettel 16th. Incredible.


2042: Massive celebrations in the Barrichello camp but he hasn't got it yet. Adrian Sutil goes third...

Chequered flag
2041: Rubens Barrichello goes top with a late 1:19.576 - but Mark Webber is still out there, along with several others.

2039: Minute and a half to go and now Mark Webber has toppled Rubens Barrichello.

2038: Two and a half minutes left and Rubens is back on top. This is a thriller now... This crowd will be monstrous if their man takes pole.

2036: This going to all about timing it right because as the track is drying, the times are tumbling. The leaderboard is changing by the second. Barrichello is down to sixth.

2035: The crowd like that A LOT... Rubens Barrichello pops up top with a 1:21.167.

2034: Sebastien Buemi beats Mark Webber by nine-tenths of a second to go top. A Toro Rosso on pole? I'll believe anything right now.

2031: And can Rubens Barrichello take advantage? We're about to find out. The shootout is on.

2030: So has Jenson Button's luck finally run out?

Jenson Button: "The start of the session, we had way too much understeer and I couldn't do anything with it and then on lap three, the rears started going away. We made a mistake not putting inters on at the end. It's all of our decision, it's a team effort."

2026: Joining Jenson Button on the sidelines after Q2 are: Kamui Kobayashi, Jaime Alguersuari, Romain Grosjean, along with Tonio Liuzzi.

2023: That could not have gone any worse for Jenson Button. He will start 14th, only two places in front of Sebastian Vettel. Rubens Barrichello has made it into the shoot-out in 10th.


2021: Jenson Button has one lap left to get into the top 10 shoot-out. "He's blown it," says Brundle.

2020: "What are you doing out there Jenson?" asks Martin Brundle. "Oh dear." He's down in 13th and really struggling on the wets.

2018: My mistake: Jenson Button is still on extreme wets and he'll have to stick with them now. Mark Webber, also on full wets, is the quickest man on the track.

2017: Brawn in for their intermediates, as is Kimi Raikkonen. Jenson Button down in 12th, Rubens Barrichello fourth.

2016: Williams are switching to intermediate tyres. Nico Rosberg second, Kazuki Nakajima sixth. "They lift about 30 litres of water a second, but it's amazing how much extra grip they'll give you in these conditions," explains Martin Brundle.

2015: Kimi Raikkonen is fastest, but Jenson Button is off the pace in 10th, with Rubens Barrichello just ahead. Kamui Kobayashi has a sideways moment.

2012: Purple numbers flashing everywhere and they are now obliterating those times from earlier. Nico Rosberg top ahead of Mark Webber, Jenson Button eighth.

2010: Halle-flippin-lujah. We're counting down again, and it's Nico Rosberg out first with about 12 minutes remaining in Q2.

Bernie Ecclestone on BBC2: "It's up the race director. If we didn't run again, it would be a big confusion how to sort the grid out."

Felipe Massa speaking on BBC2: "It looks like Silverstone no? These conditions are always very difficult for the drivers. It's quite difficult for the FIA too to find the right direction. Now it looks much better so I think we're going to have a better end to qualifying."

2004: Unbelievably, they are planning to restart qualifying in about five minutes. It has stopped raining.

From Sue and Dave via text on 81111: "Get on with it... we're waiting for Spandau to come on at Glasgow! And don't want to miss a minute!"

2002: Moustachioed BMW bigwig Mario Theissen says he expects the rain to stop shortly and the cars could return to the track five to 10 minutes after that.

Toyota boss John Howett on his bid to sign Kimi Raikkonen: "His manager has asked for more money and we've said we think we've put enough money on the table. We think with our rallying history, we can cope with Scandinavians who like partying."

Text in your views on 81111
From Sarah, Wolverhampton, via text on 81111: "Keep the delays coming! I'm sat in A and E waiting for blood tests, and qualifying or lack thereof is keeping me distracted!"

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner: "We want to make sure the circuit is safe. At the moment it's too dangerous to run the cars, with the rivers across the circuit. It looks like it's getting worse. They'll have to make a decision shortly. We can't just keep hanging on and hanging on."

1951: Another track inspection at 2000 BST... GIVE UP! Sorry, did I say that out loud?

Text in your views on 81111
From Tim in Sheffield (Arena), via text on 81111: "Can we hurry up? Michael McIntyre's due on stage in 15 mins and I want to know the grid!"

Anthony Hamilton on Lewis's qualifying performance: "He wasn't upset at all. You've got to look at the positives. If it's dry tomorrow, those cars on full wet settings could be in trouble."

Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony: "To be honest, it's nice to be here without the stress and pressure of the last two years."

1945: The medical car is out again. I think it's done more laps than most of the competitors. Certainly, Giancarlo Fisichella anyway.

1941: I can't ignore it anymore. Lots of you want to know what happens about fuelling if qualifying is cancelled. I'm trying to find out and I shall let you know...

Text in your views on 81111
From Bee, London, via text on 81111: "I reckon they should decide the grid by timing the drivers running round the track (with their helmets on)."

1931: Hey, I've worked at Wimbledon. I know about rain - but this is even getting me down. Television coverage in the UK is off to BBC2 to make way for Strictly. Ooh, there'll be a track inspection in about 10 minutes. The tension...

Jenson Button's father John: "This is like the Snetterton winter series. I'm really nervous because it really is dangerous out there. Jenson was saying he was aquaplaning down the straights. Ridiculous. I'm sorry for Vettel because I'm a racer too, but I'm happy for Jenson because it makes the job easier."

Tonio Liuzzi on his crash: "There was a lot of water. It was pretty dangerous. It was like a big puddle. Somehow I lost control in the middle of the straight in a big puddle."

1922: Brawn chief exec Nick Fry says he wants this session back under way. I agree. As long as it's soon, because I'm hungry and the blood sugar is low.

1918: I reckon these drivers can find more grip around sodden Interlagos than Joe Calzaghe can on a dancefloor. By the way, if qualifying cannot continue, Nico Rosberg would start on pole with Jenson Button behind Rubens Barrichello in sixth. And Button would basically just need to attach himself to Rubinho's exhaust pipe for the duration of the race in order to wrap up the title.

1915: I must bring you the sad news that Strictly Come Dancing has been delayed until 1930 BST. Eddie Jordan is clearly a fan. "We've got a grid. I think we should close off today and come back tomorrow," says the BBC pundit.

1913: Vettel refused to write off his title chances and said "we will go out with the knife between our teeth". Crikey.

Sebastian Vettel after failing to get out of Q1: "I think I went to the pool not the racetrack today. Obviously it's extremely disappointing. That's life. There was a window where the circuit was quickest and we couldn't use it. We were struggling with traffic. When we had clean air, it started to rain more heavily. It's a shame. There's wasn't much missing, just a question of timing. It would be much nicer to start from the front, but we have to accept it."

1906: Mark Webber's race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam asks the Aussie if there's anything he should pass on to race director Charlie Whiting. "Tell him to put his glasses on and have a look at what we're out there in," says Webber. Seems a fair point.

Brawn race engineer Andrew Shovlin on the Liuzzi crash: "He nearly hit us on the pit wall. We felt it."

1901: May I be the gazillionth person to comment: this is getting ridiculous. Kazuki Nakajima spun at turn six as Liuzzi was helplessly sliding backwards into a tyre wall.

1859: RED FLAG Tonio Liuzzi has a major, major ding at the end of the pit straight. He's lost both his rear wheels and the front right. The Italian is climbing out of his Force India, which is a relief. Big impact.

BBC commentator Martin Brundle: "I'm at a loss as to why they've opened the track as it doesn't seem any better than it was at the end of Q1."

1857: But wait... we're back under way, and it's the Williams cars stealing a march again.

1854: The medical car is off again. Intriguing news from Ted Kravitz... "The weather is getting worse actually. I've just had a chat with Bernie Ecclestone. He can only offer an opinion because he's not the race director, but he says we don't have to get going again. 'This is a nice-looking grid, isn't it?' he said."

Eddie Jordan on Jenson Button's title hopes: "There are now just two contenders and once again, luck has played into Jenson's hands. It is virtually impossible for Vettel to win the race. Jenson just needs to concentrate and shadow-box Rubens Barrichello."

Williams co-owner Patrick Head: "Pretty foul conditions, aquaplaning is a big problem, but it's the same for everyone. We'll have to wait and see what (race director) Charlie Whiting says about Q2. I think in these conditions, you can have millions of pounds of data, but it's seat-of-the-pants decisions in terms of fuel and tyres."

Text in your views on 81111
From Andy the usher, via text on 81111: "Re text below 1756 entry: Last week, sitting in church waiting for Julian and Ruth's wedding. This week, sitting on my sofa at home very jealous of sister and brother-in-law!"

1844: Seems like Seb Vettel and both McLarens were on dry-weather set-ups because the race is set to be dry. Not much good if you're at the back of the grid though is it?

Lewis Hamilton: "The conditions were awful, but, wow, our car was terrible. Pretty poor performance from us. We couldn't even go flat-out on the straights. That's how bad it was. We didn't have a wet weather set-up, which probably contributed to it."

1842: Almost inevitably, the second session of qualifying has been delayed...

1839: Who's to blame for Vettel's failure? David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan can't agree... "The technical team have to take some stick for this," says Jordan. "They just misjudged the circumstances." Coulthard responds: "In these conditions, the driver has to make the call. The engineers don't know what it's like on the race track."

1835: Christian Horner shakes his head ruefully. Seb Vettel, by contrast, looks absolutely furious as he climbs out of his Red Bull car. Think that beard may be about to go... His title rivals Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello eased into Q2. Barrichello fifth, Button sixth. Nico Rosberg tops the leaderboard ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica and Kazuki Nakajima.

Chequered flag
1834: Lordy. Sebastian Vettel's slim title hopes just got an awful lot slimmer. The German joins Heikki Kovalainen, Lewis Hamilton, Nick Heidfeld and Giancarlo Fisichella on the sidelines after Q1.


1832: LEWIS HAMILTON IS OUT He limps back into the pits and that's his qualifying session over. Sebastian Vettel has one more lap...

1831: Yet more drama. Lewis Hamilton drops it in turn five, where Romain Grosjean did this morning. He's back on the track - but how much damage? The world champion is 18th.

1829: Nervous times on the pit wall as Red Bull team boss Christian Horner watches Sebastian Vettel toil. He hasn't got enough space in front of him to put in a flier. "The car looks terrible," says Martin Brundle. Vettel 16th.

1828: Sebastian Vettel is struggling. He's now 17th, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Are we going to lose one of the big boys? Or two even? Still five minutes remaining.

1826: "Keep going if you can. Rain in a couple of laps," McLaren tell Lewis Hamilton. Bottom five: Hamilton, Heidfeld, Trulli, Grosjean and Fisi.

1824: Jenson Button goes two-tenths quicker than Rubens Barrichello. They are fifth and sixth. Positions changing all the time. Nico Rosberg looking very quick.

1823: The times are tumbling. Nico Rosberg takes two seconds out of Lewis Hamilton with a 1:24.356. Giancarlo Fisichella will be starting from the back of the grid. Of that you can be sure.

1820: Lewis Hamilton obliterates the best time from that first bit of the session before the red flag. He is a staggering 12 seconds faster in 1:27.473. Conditions much, much better now. Jenson Button back in sixth.

1818: Lewis Hamilton is itching to go. The world champion is at the end of the pit lane as the green light goes on. He, along with many others, needs a time...

1817: Red flag is gone, and we'll be off again in one minute.

1816: Ted Kravitz reports that the skies appear to be brightening up, and the medical car is off for another spin.

Giancarlo Fisichella after spinning out of qualifying: "It's impossible to drive. Crazy. It's dangerous everywhere, even in the pit lane. They need to do something. I aquaplaned and the anti-stall didn't work again."

1811: "Q1 will not continue until conditions improve," say the race stewards. Cancel those evening plans, we could be here for a little while, my friends.

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From Rafael & Fabio - Perfect Combination on 606: "Surely they can't go ahead with this? They will just keep stopping, starting, then stopping, then starting. No point IMO. It's unfair to take the times as they are now as well."

1807: Fisi won't be able to take any further part in this session after stopping on the track. Them's the rules. Again: I wonder what Luca Badoer's thinking?

David Croft on BBC Radio 5 live: "Sebastian Vettel's time is 27 seconds slower than he was in the dry as a lightening bolt illuminates the leaden skies above Sao Paulo."

1805: For the second time this weekend, Fisi is climbing out of his stricken Ferrari. We have seven times on the board. In order: Vettel, Fisi, Alguersuari, Rosberg, Grosjean, Nakajima, Buemi.

1804: That didn't take long, did it? Giancarlo Fisichella has spun at turn two and is stuck. The red flag is out.

Brawn chief executive Nick Fry on BBC Radio 5 live: "Our drivers will do much longer runs in these conditions to keep their hand in, but both of our drivers are good in the wet so we will see what happens."

1801: "Those wet tyres lift 60 litres of water into the air every second," says Brundle. Sheesh. Romain Grosjean is out on the track by the way, so Renault have worked their magic after his practice mishap.

1800: Martin Brundle's worries prove unfounded. The session gets under way on time. I think it will be officially declared wet. I'm just guessing. Heavy rain for five minutes, say BMW.

1758: "We're in England," jokes John Button as he strolls past the camera. And there's an owl perched on the grass by the track. I love owls. I mean, who doesn't?

1756: Four minutes to go... And the safety car and the medical car are making their way around the track. "I'm concerned whether they'll actually start," says Martin Brundle.

Text in your views on 81111
From Julian and Ruth via text on 81111: "Last week, sitting in church waiting to get married. This week, sitting on the start finish line waiting for quali to start at Interlagos."

1749: Eleven minutes and counting... Jake Humphrey says, as it stands, qualifying won't be delayed. It might be quite slow though...

Ayrton Senna's nephew Bruno on his F1 future: "We're negotiating with a few teams - new teams and some of the current ones. It's good that even though I was outside the F1 circle for almost a year, I still got some good propositions. We're more advanced than we were last year. I've had big pressure since I started because of the surname. It's been good preparation, but I have wait and see if I am really prepared or not."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Sao Paulo: "It was lots of fun being a weather woman throughout third practice but the wet conditions in Interlagos will be causing the teams a few serious headaches. Brawn's title contenders Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will be concerned that they haven't had any competitive running in the wet since the Chinese Grand Prix in April. The team have tweaked and updated the car since then so they won't be 100% sure of their performance levels. Sebastian Vettel will be feeling much more comfortable on a damp track as the Red Bull works well on cooler track temperatures. But there are some variables for the Red Bulls too as they haven't run competitively in the wet since adding the double diffuser to their car. Plenty of paddock experts are tipping McLaren and Lewis Hamilton to hit top form at Interlagos - so there's plenty to look out for in qualifying. Mixed-up grid anyone?"

Text in your views on 81111
From Craig, Stirling, via text on 81111: "I'm so torn as to who I want to win. Button, of course, but I've always been a fan of Rubens and I feel now's his perfect chance, having had something of a 'always the bridesmaid, never the bride' career, especially having had the prime of his career in second chair to arguably the greatest driver ever."

Brawn team principal Ross Brawn: "Obviously, in our situation, we're looking for a predictable, consistent qualifying result and this weather doesn't help. Having said that, it's the same for everyone and I've been pleased with the car. Everyone will want to be at the front of the grid, and most of the top teams will be pretty aggressive in their strategy."

Eddie Jordan on Rubens Barrichello's chances: "His record at his home Grand Prix has been pretty terrible. He has to really win here. He has to capitalise on the euphoria in Brazil."

Get involved on 606
From yorker_129-7 on 606: "I really want Button to do this, not just because I'm British, but mostly because I just think the lad has had so much rotten luck during his career, and I fear this might be the only chance he ever gets to win the title."

1729: Ooh, thunder now apparently. Anyway, let's leave the weather for a moment, how about a fashion update? A dark green casual jacket and jeans for Eddie Jordan. DC goes for a collarless beige jacket. Jake appears to have his favourite pink shirt poking out from underneath his standard black jacket - which is a relief.

It's raining
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Sao Paulo: "I don't like to be the bearer of bad news Caroline but a technical man has bounded into the office to tell me that the latest information from the weather radar at Interlagos is that a storm THREE TIMES as bad as the one we saw in third practice is on its way."

1723: Off we go with the BBC1 coverage, which is also up there at the top of the page if you're on the website in the UK... You what? They've cancelled Hole In The Wall for this? Get me the director general...

Text in your views on 81111
From Hywel, Swansea, via text on 81111: "It's awfully British that rain should play such a big part in our driver's bid for a world title!"

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From Logos on 606: "Yay! I love rain. I don't think Button will blow it, he's too lucky."

1716: Latest weather update from Interlagos: IT'S SPITTING!

1713: The camera pans around a busy pit-lane. Ted Kravitz is leaning nonchalantly on a golfing umbrella. Eddie Jordan is bounding around behind Jake Humphrey. BBC1 coverage gets under way in just seven minutes, folks.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Sao Paulo: "Hold onto your ponchos racing fans because here's the latest weather update. It's… not raining. In fact, it is fairly bright outside. BUT according to Ferrari's high-tech weather maps, rain is expected to top up Interlagos' lakes 10 minutes before the start of qualifying. Ah."

1708: I am eagerly awaiting a weather report from Sao Paulo. At the moment, I'm looking at a still image of some blue sky, but I don't think that is reality.

1700: In an hour, Jenson Button will take part in the most important qualifying session of his career so far... Will the rain have its say?

1607: A short break for us all to metaphorically dry out. I shall return at 1700 BST ahead of qualifying.

Chequered flag
1600: There we are then. Nico Rosberg tops that short session, ahead of Kazuki Nakajima, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean.

1559: Ted Kravitz reckons Lewis Hamilton had the most productive session, along with the Red Bulls. He's not convinced that Brawn were able to get much heat into their tyres.

1558: Still two minutes of the session remaining, but I'm not sure if we'll get any more running. Renault will have a job trying to get Romain Grosjean's car back in shape for qualifying at 1800 BST.

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Romain Grosjean has told the pit wall that he's absolutely fault. He was so, so apologetic. He knows it's completely his fault."

1554: Yellow flags are out - and it's Romain Grosjean again. The inexperienced Frenchman finds the exact same bit of water that Alonso did, and goes airborne before smacking into the barrier. Nasty. And the red flag is out now.

1552: And now Fernando Alonso is on the grass after a spot of aquaplaning. The Spaniard does well to guide his Renault back onto his circuit. Kimi's been for a spin as well.

1551: We have our first 'off' and it's Renault's Romain Grosjean, losing it in turn one.

It's raining
BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "It's raining again."

1547: Nico Rosberg appears to be liking the conditions, and his time of 1:25.685 is over two seconds better than Lewis Hamilton's best effort.

1544: Fisi comes straight in again. Huge amounts of spray as we watch Kovalainen tip-toe around. He sets a time of 1:31.716.

1541: Giancarlo Fisichella is keen. The Ferrari man makes his way down the pit lane, and is waiting for the green light... which is now on. Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Rosberg follow him out.

1540: The brooms are out to try to sweep away some of the standing water on the track.

1537: The green light will be on in five minutes. Hurray. What have title rivals Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello been up to during this rain delay? Tweeting, of course. "chove chuva,chove sem pararrrrrrrrrrrrr..." tweets Rubinho. I'm far from fluent in Portuguese - but I think that's something about rain.

1535: If the medical helicopter is able to go up, then we could have some cars on the track. Quite a few drivers settling into their seats now. Apparently, the weather radar has been hit by lightning. Is that ironic? Someone get Alanis Morrisette on the phone.

1532: Lewis Hamilton is getting into his car... maybe he just fancies playing with the buttons for a little while. Still raining, but a bit brighter than it was.

1528: Force India tell Adrian Sutil that they could get 10-15 minutes at the end of the session. However, there's a bit of confusion because Christian Horner thinks that because the clock hasn't started counting down, we could just start the whole session late. Make sense?

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner: "I'm just worried about how to get across to the pit wall. I'll probably need a boat. The rain looks like it's clearing. The big problem is the rivers of water though."

Fernando Alonso on topping the timesheets in Friday's second practice session: "We dropped some fuel at the end, so I think it was not very realistic. We'll be in same position as always - fighting to be in Q3."

1521: Alex in Durham texted in to ask what will happen if it's still raining when we come to qualifying at 1800 BST. Here's BBC Sport's F1 know-it-all Andrew Benson with some chat: "This is pretty serious rain - but it's also pretty common for Interlagos. But I think it's unlikely qualifying will be postponed. The main risk is if the medical helicopter cannot take off, in which case the cars are not allowed to run. Qualifying has been postponed in relatively recent history, though - in Japan in 2004, when it was run on race morning because a typhoon was due to hit the track on Saturday. As it happens, the typhoon missed Suzuka and Saturday was relatively quiet. Qualifying on Sunday was still hit by rain and, as often happens, that led to a mixed up grid. Which is almost certainly exactly what Jenson Button hopes doesn't happen this weekend."

1517: Come on then. Who sniggered when they saw the name Dudu? No?! Just me then? Anyway, here's Nico Rosberg on the weather: "They're not going to start the session right now. We need to wait and see. If we don't get a lot of running before qualifying, it's going to make it very challenging."

1515: "Wahaaaaaaaaay" go the crowd as an enormous clap of thunder is heard overhead.

1512: More Massa? You got it. Sarah Holt bumped into Felipe's brother Dudu yesterday and had a little chat about the Sao Paulo weather. She reports: "He reckons there is a lake outside the city which means that when it gets hot there is a big chance of rain (just think back to the geography lesson on the rain cycle at school). He also says: 'The weather changes so fast here that when I was little my Mum always told me to take a jacket with me.' So there you have it. Dudu also reckons Felipe isn't suffering any after-effects from his huge crash at the Hungarian GP. 'I only need to look at him to see that he's the same brother'."

1507: Incidentally, I am seriously worried that Felipe Massa's hand is stuck in the 'thumbs up' position. He spent the whole of yesterday with his digit in the air. It could really hamper his driving, although he'll make a handy coat-stand in the Ferrari garage.

1505: The rain has eased - but Force India reckon there's another big downpour due in about 10 minutes. Luckily, I've got enough Felipe Massa filler to last us until Christmas.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Mass
Fernando and Felipe: Best friends forever
1500: Some lovely news from the pits yesterday. You'll remember that Felipe Massa claimed that new Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso must have known about the Renault crash plot. Well happily, the pair bumped into each other in the paddock - completely coincidentally - and they took the chance to shake hands. Even more happily, and even more coincidentally, there was a cameraman there to record the event. According to the official Ferrari website: "The two future team-mates spoke briefly, Alonso wishing Felipe a speedy recovery and the Brazilian wishing Fernando all the best for his new future. The relationship between the two drivers seems the same as ever and this chance meeting shows how unfounded are the current rumours regarding bad feeling between them."

Get involved on 606
From ianmcco on 606: "Can someone come up with a good excuse for missing the Saturday food shopping trip? My missus isn't going to let me sit and watch it raining in Brazil while she goes alone."

1456: Final practice has been officially delayed because the medical helicopter is not operational in this weather. Not so the safety car, which is whizzing round to great cheers from the sodden crowd.

From jminchew on Twitter: "What's the forecast for qualifying? Will the rain ever stop? Have you seen anyone rounding up two of every animal?"

1449: How fun would it be if Eddie Jordan had a Twitter account? I'm going to see if Sarah Holt can make it happen... Now I can see floods of brown water sloshing down the track. Marvellous.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Sao Paulo: "Jake Humphrey is worried the ceiling at BBC HQ won't stand up to these monsoon conditions. Don't worry Jake, we'll be fine under the large tarpaulin of the TV compound. Not so lucky are the journalists up at the media centre, where the roof is already leaking. Friendly Alan Baldwin of Reuters says: 'The mops and buckets are out' Oh dear."

1442: I can see the rain live on my television now - and it is very much as described by Sarah. I'd feel sorry for her, but she's in Brazil. So it looks like we may have a very quiet final practice - which is bad news in some ways, but could make for some merry chaos in qualifying... More than ever, I need you to get in touch on 81111, on 606 or on Twitter.

It's raining
It's raining
1438: Yet more doom and gloom from the usually chipper Sarah Holt. Hope you've all got some good jokes at the ready. "If it carries on like this you can forget third practice completely. It's a downpour of biblical proportions. Huge splashes of rain are pouring down around BBC HQ and the mist is making it hard to see the other side of the circuit while cracks of thunder only add to the gloomy atmosphere. Just asked Eddie Jordan if there is any chance of the drivers taking to the track in his weather, his response? 'You wouldn't send a duck out in this.'"

It's raining
Sarah Holt tweeting from Sao Paulo: "Uh-oh - here comes the rain. Sound of tropical rain hits BBC HQ and the deluge has begun - just half an hour before third practice. Eek."

1430: Hello you. Fascinating Interview with Ross Brawn in the Guardian today. In it, he admits that "maybe there's been a bit of tightening up" from Jenson Button of late, particularly in qualifying. "You're on your qualifying lap and you know you've got to do it, but you'd rather be third or fourth than go for pole position and run the risk of making a mistake." Let's see, shall we?

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see also
Brazilian GP qualifying photos
17 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Button bid hit by qualifying flop
17 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Button warned about playing safe
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Alonso on top as Brawn show pace
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Brazil Grand Prix practice results
14 Sep 09 |  Results
Brazilian GP practice photos
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Button to take cautious approach
16 Oct 09 |  Formula 1

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