By Patrick Johnston
SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying started 50 minutes late on Saturday after steady rain descended on the Sepang Circuit and left pools of water on the track.
Qualifying for the second race of the Formula One season had been due to start at 1600 local (0800 GMT) but the International Automobile Federation (FIA) pushed the start back by 15 minutes on three occasions and then by a further five.
Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were expected to battle for pole position having proved the quickest in the three practice sessions on Friday and Saturday.
Further showers were forecast for later in the afternoon at the circuit, which is around 50 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur, with a rumbling of thunder heard before the FIA confirmed the 1650 local start time.
(Reporting by Patrick Johnston, editing by Alan Baldwin)