Adrian Sutil already knew that he'd be starting towards the back of the grid at the Japanese Grand Prix, but failure to progress beyond the first phase of qualifying ensures that he will line up on the back row.

The German was already on the back foot after a practice shunt left him requiring a new gearbox, and thus inheriting a five-place grid penalty, but an interrupted qualifying session saw him pushed back into the 'drop zone' and P17 at the chequer will translate into something a little worse on race day.

Sutil's blushes won't even be spared by the twin ten-place penalties hanging over French duo Charles Pic and Jules Bianchi from Korea, the pair posting only 20th and 22nd best times in the opening 20-minute session. Although their penalties are bigger, applying them first - as is F1's wont - means that they will be elevated one spot apiece when Sutil's punishment is applied.

Related Articles

Joining Sutil and the expected backmarkers - headed on this occasion by Max Chilton - in the leaving qualifying at the first opportunity will be Jean-Eric Vergne, who was forced out of the session by a brake fire that stranded him out on track and brought out the red flags with a couple of minutes remaining.

At the other end of the chart, Romain Grosjean reprised his 2012 form by posting the best time at 1min 32.673secs. The top five, which changed considerably after the restart, also featured Felipe Massa - a last ditch escapee from the drop zone - Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Sutil's Force India team-mate Paul di Resta.