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Vettel takes Japanese GP pole in interrupted session.

A rash of red flags may have dominated Formula One proceedings at Suzuka, but could not prevent Sebastian Vettel from dominating Japanese Grand prix qualifying.

The German may be on the verge of bowing out of the F1 title race, trailing Jenson Button by 25 points with three races remaining, but continues to do all he can to keep himself in the mix by 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 no fewer than three red flag interruptions to pass before he could claim pole.

With Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber already missing after writing off his chassis on morning practice, Vettel's progress was slowed by two heavy accidents in Q2, when Jaime Alguersuari and Timo Glock suffered separate accidents. Those delays were then followed by a third stoppage when Heikki Kovalainen went off at Degner before posting a time in Q3.

Alguersuari joined the list of Degner victims when he went off at the start of his first visit to Q2, but emerged unscathed from his impact, caused by his Toro Rosso putting its left-hand wheels off the road on approach. Glock, however, was less fortunate, and was taken to hospital with what was reported as a 'leg wound', adding to the fever he was already suffering with. Kovalainen's accident was less violent, and the Finn was quickly back in the McLaren garage.

Once his countryman's car had been craned away, Kimi Raikkonen was the first to post a flying lap, but the 2007 world champion 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 driver had reset the target, with Jarno Trulli cementing second on the grid.

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 and sandwiching BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld in sixth. Kovalainen joined Sebastien Buemi - who damaged his Toro Rosso at the end of Q2 - on row five after failing to set a time.




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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XHannahX

October 03, 2009 12:35 PM

15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 682.5 16. Fisichella Ferrari 661.5 17. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 695.7 18. Grosjean Renault 691.8 19. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 682.5 20. Webber Red Bull-Renault



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