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Vettel takes Japanese GP pole.

Sebastian Vettel may be on the verge of bowing out of the Formula One title race, but continues to do all he can to keep himself in the mix, taking his fourth pole position of the year with fastest time in Japan.

The German was the class of qualifying, topping each of the three sessions, but again had to wait for another red flag interruption to pass before claiming the pole, after Heikki Kovalainen went off at Degner before posting a time.

Kimi Raikkonen was again the first to post a flying lap, but the Finn was no match for Vettel, who bided his time before venturing out, and then slashed the benchmark time by almost a second.

Simiarly, no-one had an answer for Vettel after the Red Bull car had reset the target, with Jarno Trulli cementing second on the grid for Toyota nearly half a second adrift.

After that, the best anyone could manage was third, with Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil both occupying the position before Lewis Hamilton made it his with a late run. The Briton will line up alongside friend and rival Sutil for the second time in three races, while title contender Rubens Barrichello claimed a top five slot with his sole flier.

That put the Brazilian two places ahead of points leader Jenson Button, who managed only seventh as he followed his Brawn team-mate across the line, relegating Raikkonen to eighth. Kovalainen joined Sebastien Buemi - who damaged his Toro Rosso at the end of Q2 - on row five after failing to set a time.

Full report and results to follow....



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Vettel [Pic credit: Red Bull]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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SignorBenzini

October 03, 2009 7:54 AM

What a mess of a qualifying session. Nice job by Vettel to grab pole. I've been waiting for RBR to have a big weekend for a long time. About Buemi's crash in Q2 - what's the rule about finishing the session under yellow? Do the times all count? Do the drivers have to lift or slow down? Alonso lifted and got knocked out by Barichello and Button, who posted their times after the yellow, and raced through the debris. And what happened to Raikonnen in Q3? It looked like he had time for 4 laps, but ran only one that I saw. It was good for P1 or P2 but he dropped to P8 pretty quickly. Fisichella is a big disappointment once again.

SignorBenzini

October 03, 2009 9:22 AM
Last Edited 219 days ago

Rosbberg didn't make it out of Q2 - he is provisionally 11th. I think only the Brawns posted new fast times. Barichello was on camera at full gas through the debris. of course, this is F1, so anything can happen. poor Heikki - he needed some good showings at the end of the year. This isn't helping.



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