Pastor Maldonado will take no further part in qualifying when the delayed Q2 gets underway on Sunday morning, after he failed to make the cut at the end of the rain-hit Q1 in Melbourne ahead of the 2013 F1 Australian Grand Prix.

"The track is completely different, the conditions and everything," he said after the end of the first stage of qualifying on a wet and gloomy Saturday afternoon. "For any reason we didn't adapt our car to this track in whatever the conditions are.

"In the wet we were slow, in the dry as well," he shrugged. "The pace for tomorrow seems to be much better but qualifying pace is really bad."

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The Venezuelan, who was the surprise winner of the 2012 European Grand Prix in Valencia last June, feared that the FW35 might prove to be such a retrograde step that it might be about to set them back to 2011 levels in terms of development, a season in which he managed to win just five points in the entire season.

"I think we're back to two years' ago with the conditions in the team," he said. "We need to work very hard to sort the problems; the car is undriveable at the moment and we need to work. That's it."

Maldonado ended Q1 almost three tenths behind the next-slowest man on track, F1 returnee Adrian Sutil in the Force India. Maldonado's rookie team mate Valtteri Bottas was just two thousandths of a second further down the road.

However, the exact positions and time differences are somewhat irrelevant, largely reflecting the timing of the run in rapidly changing conditions, and whether the driver got a clear run, hit traffic or had to slow for one of a number of late accidents that brought out waved yellow flags in multiple parts of the Albert Park street circuit.