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Vettel takes Japan GP pole

Sebastian Vettel appeared to have been gifted pole position for the Japanese GP by errors elsewhere, but maintained Red Bull's unbeaten 2011 run.
Despite having appeared out-paced by the McLarens throughout the early weekend at Suzuka, Sebastian Vettel bounced back to claim another pole position for Red Bull Racing in an unbeaten 2011 season.

Judging by his reaction, the German may well have been among those who doubted whether he had the beating of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton but, when the former came up just a hundredth short of toppling Vettel from the top of the Q3 times, the streak was assured. That was as much to do with Hamilton's mistake or misfortune, as the Briton - along with Michael Schumacher - failed to make it across the start-finish line in time to begin a final flying lap. The two McLaren drivers will line up behind Vettel, however, and continue to offer the only thing resembling a threat of spoiling the German's coronation party.

With Mark Webber also appearing to have a problem on his final run, and having to settle for sixth, the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso will fill positions four and five on the grid. They were the only six runners to attempt a time, with Schumacher's error preventing him from recording a flying lap, and the two Renault of Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna not even venturing out in an effort to save tyres for race day.

Most disappointingly of all, however, local favourite Kamui Kobayashi also decided against a Q3 effort, denying the thousands of fans that had cheered his earlier performances.

Full report and times to follow....



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.10.2011- Friday Practice 2, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP), Sauber F1 Team C30
07.10.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
07.10.2011- Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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ron'sgoldenboy - Unregistered

October 08, 2011 8:05 AM

I feel i can finally say that Mclaren looks on similar pace with the vicious Red Bull, and what happens? Mclaren's naturally quickest driver decides to have a snooze. Lewis has to be the most unprofessional f1 driver at the moment, and there is noway he can blame Webber or Schumi as he was the one that was holding them up, could not believe him saying that Webber attacked him when he has done the same things to Massa 2 weeks ago in quali and to Malandano a few races back. Lewis needs to mentally match his teammate if he is to maintain his unbeaten run at Mclaren. Button is focused,smart,professional and now a improved driver, all Hammi has is natural pace and natural tallent, he needs to add some mental sharpness to his game. Well done to Vettel who drives the Red Bull like it should be driven, fast.

richard

October 08, 2011 7:53 AM

despite what whitmarsh said, it did look as if lulu was trying to wrongfoot schumi and mark, but it backfired. at the end, seb tried to talk to him, and he just stood there with a sour face, and made no response. ok, he was disappointed but that was very petulant. nice to see flip out qualify ferdi, so proves he is still fast. the bulls seem to have better race trim pace, so should be in good form tomorrow.



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