The pole position deciding session for the Malaysian Grand Prix has been delayed after a downpour mid-way through qualifying.

Qualifying got underway as stormy clouds loomed and though Q1 was completed in dry conditions - despite some spectacular lightning strikes around the venue -, the rain would arrive mid-way through Q2.

As a result, the first and only lap of Q2 would prove crucial to making Q3 with Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Daniil Kvyat and Marcus Ericsson all squeezing in as the heavens opened.

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By contrast, Kimi Raikkonen was the biggest name to miss out on reaching Q3 after being crossed up with Ericsson in the final corner. The Ferrari driver will start 11th.

Q3 has been delayed provisionally by 15mins, but though the torrential conditions have now eased, qualifying will start the earliest at 18.15 local time (10.15 GMT).