Following qualifying of the Japanese Grand Prix, it was Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg who took pole position for the thirtieth time in his Formula 1 career. Rosberg’s team mate, Lewis Hamilton qualified in second place while Kimi Raikkonen qualified in third place for Ferrari.
Nico Rosberg Secures Pole Position for Japanese Grand Prix
In the first session of qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, the Ferrari cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were first and second fastest, while Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth. Making an exit from Q1 were the six slowest drivers on the grid. Perhaps the most surprising exit from Q1 was McLaren’s Jenson Button, who will start in seventeenth place in what is the home race of McLaren’s engine supplier, Honda. Renault’s Kevin Magnussen will start in eighteenth place, while his team mate, Jolyon Palmer, was fast enough to progress into Qualifying 2. Marcus Ericsson was the fastest Sauber, and qualified in nineteenth place. His team mate, Felipe Nasr, will start in twentieth. Esteban Ocon will start in twenty-first place for Manor, out qualifying his team mate, Pascal Wehrlein for the second race in succession. Wehrlein will start in twenty-second, and in last place.
In the second session of qualifying, it was Mercedes who were fastest, with Nico Rosberg posting the fastest lap with a 1:30.714, four tenths of a second faster than his team mate, Lewis Hamilton. Making an exit from Q2 were another six drivers. It was a disappointing qualifying session for Williams, with Valtteri Bottas qualifying in eleventh place and Felipe Massa qualifying in twelfth, with both drivers being pushed outside of the top 10 by Force India. Daniil Kvyat out qualified his team mate, Carlos Sainz Jr who spun off the circuit in his final lap, meaning that the Toro Rosso drivers will start in thirteenth and fourteenth. Fernando Alonso qualified in fifteenth for McLaren while Jolyon Palmer qualified in sixteenth for Renault.
In qualifying 3, Mercedes were once again fastest, with Nico Rosberg securing pole position, being faster than Lewis Hamilton by 0.013 seconds. This marks yet another front row lock out for Mercedes is qualifying, with this being their tenth front row lock out this season and Rosberg’s thirtieth career pole. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest while his team mate, Sebastian Vettel qualified in fourth. However, Vettel has a three place grid penalty following his accident at the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend, meaning that he will start the Japanese Grand Prix in seventh place. Max Verstappen qualified in fifth for Red Bull Racing, however, will start in fourth place. Verstappen’s team mate, Daniel Ricciardo, qualified in sixth place. Sergio Perez qualified in seventh place for Force India, out qualifying his team mate, Nico Hulkenberg for the ninth time this season. Hulkenberg will start in ninth place. For the first time this season, both of the Haas cars of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez made it into the top 10 shootout, with Grosjean qualifying in eighth place and Gutierrez qualifying in tenth.
Qualifying Results from the Japanese GP:
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:30.647
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:30.660
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:330.949
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:31.028 (+3 positions)
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:31.178
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:31.240
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:31.961
- Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:31.961
- Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:32.142
- Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1, 1:32.517
- Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:32.315 (Q2)
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:32.380 (Q2)
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:32.623 (Q2)
- Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:32.685 (Q2)
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:32.689 (Q2)
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:32.807 (Q2)
- Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:32.851 (Q1)
- Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 1:33.023 (Q1)
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:33.222 (Q1)
- Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:33.332 (Q1)
- Esteban Ocon, Manor, 1:33.353 (Q1)
- Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1:33.561 (Q1)