Formula 1

F1: Vettel takes sensational pole position for Japanese Grand Prix

Credit: Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel took a sensational pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, securing a front row lock-out for Ferrari in a disrupted qualifying session.

Qualifying was moved to Sunday morning as a result of Typhoon Hagibis making landfall on Saturday, meaning pressure was on all teams in qualifying with limited time between qualifying and the race.

Two crashes from Robert Kubica and Kevin Magnussen brought out the red flag on two occasions in Q1, and Mercedes looked to have the upper hand in the first two sessions, but Ferrari upped their performance in the last session to dominate Q3.

Vettel’s final lap was brilliant, with the four-time world champion taking his fifth pole at Suzuka, ahead of his team-mate Charles Leclerc.

Valterri Bottas took third place, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, while the Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon set identical lap times to go fifth and sixth respectively.

McLaren secured seventh and eighth with Carlos Sainz ahead of Lando Norris, and Pierre Gasly and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten.

Antonio Giovinazzi just missed out on a Q3 spot and will start 11th, ahead of Lance Stroll and Kimi Raikkonen.

Danill Kvyat ended up 14th fastest, while Nico Hulkenberg struggled, ending the session 15th, six tenths off Kvyat’s best effort.

Daniel Ricciardo had a difficult qualifying, failing to make it out of Q1, and will start 16th, ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez and Williams of George Russell.

Robert Kubica crashed out at the last corner at the start of Q1, bringing out the first red flag, before Kevin Magnussen went off at the same spot five minutes after the session got re-started.

Their crashed mean that Magnussen will start 19th, ahead of Kubica who will start last, if Williams can repair his car in time.


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