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Rain temporarily halts qualifying in Malaysia 03 Apr 2010

Button also suffers and is beached in the gravel

Heavy rain at the Sepang International Circuit temporarily halted Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. The race stewards brought out the red flags midway through Q3 as a storm passed over the Kuala Lumpur track, causing very difficult driving conditions.

Sporadic showers had affected the previous two knockout qualifying phases, with several frontrunners falling foul of the conditions in Q1. Australian Grand Prix winner Jenson Button slipped off the track and beached his McLaren in the gravel, whilst Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton all mistimed their runs and failed to make the cut for Q2.

Button is set to start Sunday’s race from 17th, whilst Alonso, Hamilton and Massa will line up in 19th, 20th and 21st respectively.