Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel was among the casualties in Q1 as rain made the first session a lottery.
Vettel, who desperately needs to do well to maintain his very slim championship challenge, finished 16th, just outside the cut.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and the Englishman's team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen also failed to make it through to Q2. Kovalainen will start 17th, one spot in front of Hamilton.
Nick Heidfeld was unable to progress too, and will line-up 19th, with Giancarlo Fisichella bringing up the rear. Fisichella missed most of Q1 after spinning out early on.
Meanwhile, Nico Rosberg topped the times for Williams with a 1 minute 22.828 second effort, followed by Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica, Kazuki Nakajima, and championship rivals Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.
Fernando Alonso just made it out of Q1, scrapping through with the 15th best time, behind Mark Webber in 13th and Jaime Alguersuari in 14th.
More to follow soon...