This morning’s delayed qualifying session saw Red Bull dominate proceedings, with Sebastian Vettel on pole position followed by teammate and championship leader Mark Webber. It was only the second time in Formula 1 history that qualifying was held on race day, thanks to heavy rain yesterday afternoon.
At a dry Suzuka this morning, Vettel was the fastest man in all three sessions, and did a 1m30.785s lap in Q3 to deny Webber, who was close with 1m30.853s. Both Red Bulls were the only cars to dip below the 1 minute 31 second mark. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was third, followed by Robert Kubica and the scarlet car of Fernando Alonso. Reigning champ Jenson Button was no where as fast has his teammate and was sixth.
Next up was Nico Rosberg in seventh. He once again outqualified big name teammate Michael Schumacher, who was last in Q3. The two Williams of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg was eighth and ninth, respectively.
Nick Heidfeld, who is only driving his second GP this season after returning at the Singapore GP, beat his Sauber teammate and home favourite Kamui Kobayashi, who would have been in the top ten if not for an error in his last run. Quick Nick just missed out on Q3; he is in 11th place on the grid while the Japanese is 14th. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa qualified a disappointing 12th.
At the back of the grid, Jarno Trulli led Heikki Kovalainen to start in front of the other new teams – they are 19th and 20th. At Virgin, Lucas di Grassi did better than Timo Glock, only for the second time this season. Enjoy the race later!