Sebastien Buemi was the first major casualty of the postponed qualifying session for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, joining the three newcomers teams in dropping out at the first hurdle.
The Swiss youngster has shown flashes of pace at Suzuka, but failed to improve on either of his last two flying laps in the 20-minute opening session and joined the pairings from Lotus, Virgin and HRT in the bottom seven as the F1 field reconvened for Sunday morning qualifying for the first time in six years. Buemi, who may have cause to claim that he was hampered on his penultimate lap, ended the session a tenth shy of Toro Rosso
team-mate Jaime Alguersuari, but almost two seconds clear of Lotus' Jarno Trulli, who claimed the new team 'pole' in 19th position.
A green track, washed clean by the torrential rain that blighted Saturday's schedule, ensured that the top of the table changed continually through the session, with Williams
team-mates Nico Hulkenberg
and Rubens Barrichello
holding sway on a couple of occasions before Sebastian Vettel
gave Red Bull
Racing the honours. Hulkenberg remained second fastest, ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, Barrichello and Mark Webber.