Qualifying analysis - Red Bull to rule at Suzuka? 10 Oct 2010
It may have been unusually timed - Sunday morning, instead of rain-hit Saturday - but qualifying in Japan was business as usual for Red Bull, with polesitter Sebastian Vettel and team mate Mark Webber locking out the front row of the grid. Renaults Robert Kubica could be a fly in the ointment in third, whilst Ferraris Fernando Alonso, and McLarens Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will be gunning for the podium. We take a team-by-team look at qualifying at Suzuka
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 30.785s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 30.853s, P2
Vettel said he was very happy with his best lap, which secured pole position for him for the eighth time this season, but though Webbers second-fastest time locked out the front row for Red Bull for the seventh time, the Australian was clearly disappointed to miss out on the crucial pole by such a small margin.
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 31.169s, P3, will start P8 after gearbox change
Jenson Button, 1m 31.378s, P6, will start P5
Hamilton said that third-fastest time was the best he could have hoped for, given Red Bulls huge grip advantage in the first sector. After Fridays crash there was one McLaren update that couldnt be used as the team lacked time to quantify it, and Hamilton was resigned to having to drop to eighth after his gearbox change last night. Button was the only frontrunner to opt for the prime tyre and was fuelled for a three-lap run, only to find that the tyres went off after one. He believes he is in great shape for the race, however.
Robert Kubica, 1m 31.231, P4, will start P3
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 32.422s, P13
Neither driver reported any problems, and Kubica was very happy with his lap. He is in great shape as hell start third, on the clean side of the grid, after Hamiltons penalty.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 31.352s, P5, will start P4
Felipe Massa, 1m 32.321, P12
Alonso and Massa were both disappointed not to improve on their first-run times, Massa failing to get through to Q3 and Alonso managing only fifth best time. He moves to the dirtier side of the grid after Hamiltons penalty.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 31.494s, P7, will start P6
Michael Schumacher, 1m 31.846s, P10
Rosberg said his MGP W01 was better balanced than it had been on Friday, while Schumacher said 10th was the best he could do.
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 31.535s, P8, will start P7
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 31.559s, P9
Both drivers set good times in all three sessions, though Barrichello thought his FW32 was faster when the track was at its greenest. Hulkenberg claimed that his final run was spoiled by Hamilton, whom he caught in the chicane.
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 32.187s, P11
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 32.427s, P14
Heidfeld missed his place in Q3 when Schumacher improved right at the end of Q2 and bumped him to 11th. The younger German said hed had traffic problems in Q1 but got a clear lap right at the end of Q2, and that he was still learning how to get the best from the Bridgestones. Kobayashi thought he was going to make Q3 right until the end of his last Q2 lap, when he made a mistake.
Adrian Sutil, 1m 32.659s, P15
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 33.154s, P17
Sutil got a good time in, but Liuzzi found his car going off by the third sector on his best run.
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 33.471s, P16
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 33.568s P18
Alguersuari thought his car was better than it had been on Friday after a change to the mechanical set-up, but said a mistake on the last corner during his option tyre run killed his chances of beating Force India. Buemi blamed his performance on a floor damage problem that arose in the production stage.
Jarno Trulli, 1m 35.346s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 35.464s, P20
No problems here, as both drivers set competitive times to head the new teams.
Lucas di Grassi, 1m 36.265s, P21
Timo Glock, 1m 36.332s, P22
Neither driver reported any problems.
Bruno Senna, 1m 37.270s, P23
Sakon Yamamoto, 1m 37.365s, P24
Neither driver reported any problems.
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