Displaced tyre bundles spoiled Fabian Coulthard's qualifying run at the Albert Park Challenge today, meaning the Lockwood Racing driver finished 16th-fastest.
Coulthard, who was on his hot lap when the session got red-flagged, says his forfeited time would have been a 'considerable amount' faster than his previous banker lap.
With only two minutes left to run the session was abandoned leaving Coulthard questioning the need for tyre bundles at the F1-grade circuit. The bundles, designed to stop drivers cutting corners, caused several stoppages during today's practice and qualifying.
Teams will now have to compete in what has been dubbed a 'drop-zone' qualifying race at 11am tomorrow. The 13-lap race will see cars in the 'drop-zone' ? or the last three cars on track ? peel into the pits each lap, starting on lap three and ending on lap eight. The surviving 10 drivers will then race until the finish to determine the starting order of tomorrow's sprint race at 2.20pm.
"The car was definitely better than that. I was a considerable amount up on my previous lap time when the session was red-flagged. Admittedly I would have lost 0.3s going around the bundle of tyres but it's frustrating to have a red flag all the same.
"Having tyre bundles on a track like this makes no sense. Every other category seems to run without them but they have them for us. I would have said it wouldn't make a big difference if they weren't there but it would avoid these dramas."
2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix
ALBERT PARK GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
2012 V8 Supercars Albert Park Challenge ? Qualifying
01 Jamie Whincup, TeamVodafone, 1:55.0805
02 Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel FPR Ford, +0.4843
03 Shane Van Gisbergen, SP Tools Racing, +0.5997
04 Will Davison, Trading Post FPR Ford, +0.6642
05 Craig Lowndes, TeamVodafone, +0.8499
06 Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, +1.2036
07 Tony D'Alberto, Tony D'Alberto Racing, +1.2792
08 David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, +1.3123
09 Michael Caruso, Fujitsu Racing GRM, +1.3569
10 Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, +1.4668
16 Fabian Coulthard, Lockwood Racing, +1.7927
Published: 15 March 2012.