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GP Week : Issue 229
PoS driver teAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS 1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.015 1:32.632 1:32.584 16 2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:32.844 1:32.789 1:32.660 15 3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:34.326 1:33.416 1:33.024 11 4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:34.431 1:33.844 1:33.245 11 5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:34.744 1:33.377 1:33.337 12 6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34.171 1:33.361 1:33.347 10 7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:34.399 1:34.153 1:33.497 17 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:34.398 1:34.278 1:33.967 17 9 Sergio Perez Force India 1:35.001 1:34.174 DNF 16 10 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:34.646 1:34.201 DNF 15 11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:35.328 1:34.390 13 12 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:34.873 1:34.453 15 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:34.796 1:34.497 13 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:35.467 1:34.785 8 15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:34.522 8 16 Jenson Button McLaren 1:35.664 6 17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:35.673 5 18 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:35.760 6 19 Will Stevens Manor 1:38.783 5 Alexander Rossi Manor 1:47.114 5 Q1 107% Time 1:39.343 formuLa 1 round 13 Japanese gp – Qualifying QUALIFYING Three separate incidents interrupted the smooth running of the qualifying hour, and in doing so shaped the grid. Two yellow flags in the opening phase of the session hampered a number of drivers while a dramatic red flag in Q3 drew an early end to the session and confirmed the grid as a result. Daniil Kvyat's error in the final moments of qualifying was, as he admitted himself, a rookie error. He touched the grass, unsettled the car and had an almighty shunt as a result. Thankfully he was unhurt, the car doing its job by absorbing and dissipating much of the impact, but it was a silly lapse in judgement that shouldn't be made by a driver at Formula One level. The design of the circuit made it look worse than it was, because a lack of run off meant there was little room between the circuit and the barrier Kvyat collided with. That is no criticism of the circuit, more one on Kvyat since it's not an especially difficult corner - nor one where accidents are especially common. With that said, it didn't come as a surprise. The young Russian had looked wild in final practice, frequently missing apexes and running wide - especially at Degner 2. There was another incident at the same corner at which he later crashed, this time grabbing the inside kerb before locking his brake and sliding well wide of the apex. It was a day Kvyat will want to forget in a hurry. The resultant red flag meant most drivers didn't get a second stab at a flying lap in the final minutes, and the grid was therefore decided on their initial attempt. That saw Nico Rosberg holding a narrow pole over Lewis Hamilton, who had time up his sleeve if he'd been able to complete his second attempt. There was a mistake at the exit of Degner 2 and another where he slid wide at the hairpin which cost him a couple of tenths. But for that the championship leader would have been on top spot. Similarly disappointed were those at McLaren, who'd held genuine hopes of a top ten appearance with at least one of its cars. An electrical problem for Max Verstappen quickly extinguished those however as the stricken Toro Rosso sat on the racing line at the exit of the hairpin. Verstappen would be handed a grid penalty as a result, but the knock on was the likes of Jenson Button and the two Sauber's had not opportunity to extricate themselves from the bottom five. Alexander Rossi failed to set a representative lap at all thanks to Verstappen and Marcus Ericsson, who'd spun at Spoon earlier in the session. The yellow flags forced Rossi to back off, ruining that lap while on his only other attempt Verstappen parked up, leaving the American some eight seconds outside of the 107% time and four seconds adrift of 20 GPWEEK.com // 20 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> JAPAN PARTNERS: throwing caution to the wind