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F1 NEWS 

Vettel leads Red Bull front row in Japan

Sebastian Vettel, Japan, 2010Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber delivered the anticipated all-Red Bull front row with a commanding performance in the postponed Japanese Grand Prix qualifying session at a now-dry Suzuka.

The German was quickest in all three segments of the session, which took place on a Sunday morning for only the second time in Formula 1 history following yesterday's deluge.

Vettel soon claimed provisional pole in Q3 with a 1m30.792s lap, then improved it by 0.007s on his second run to make sure of his eighth pole of the year and his first since Hungary.

Championship leader Webber backed up his team-mate with second, just 0.078s adrift.

Lewis Hamilton claimed 'best of the rest' honours in third for McLaren, but this will become eighth when his five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change is applied.

This will move Robert Kubica up to an outstanding third for Renault, as the Pole showed the team's fast-circuit pace again to take fourth in the times, pushing Monza and Singapore winner Fernando Alonso's Ferrari back to fifth.

Alonso was again the only Ferrari in the top 10, with Felipe Massa struggling to find speed in Q2 and unable to get higher than 12th.

Jenson Button made a unique choice of hard tyres for Q3 and was sixth in the second McLaren.

The Mercedes were seventh and 10th, Nico Rosberg 0.4s faster than team-mate Michael Schumacher, with the two Williams in between - having been second and fourth in Q1. Rubens Barrichello narrowly beat Nico Hulkenberg to eighth in the session that counted.

Nick Heidfeld came very close to making it to Q3 in only his second race back with Sauber. His final lap of Q2 got him up to 10th ahead of Schumacher and Massa, although a late improvement by the Mercedes pushed Heidfeld back to 11th.

He still outqualified team-mate and home favourite Kamui Kobayashi, who looked set to reach the top 10 until a slight error at the chicane left him 14th, alongside Renault's Vitaly Petrov.

There was no repeat of Toro Rosso's strong 2009 Suzuka pace. Jaime Alguersuari back in 16th between the Force Indias and his team-mate Sebastien Buemi did not get beyond Q1.

Lotus dominated proceedings in the new teams' battle, with Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen nearly a second clear of Virgin, which saw an upset as Lucas di Grassi outqualified team-mate Timo Glock for only the second time all year.

Pos  Driver              Team         Q1         Q2         Q3
 1.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull     1m32.035s  1m31.184s  1m30.785s
 2.  Mark Webber         Red Bull     1m32.476s  1m31.241s  1m30.853s
 3.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren      1m32.809s  1m31.523s  1m31.169s
 4.  Robert Kubica       Renault      1m32.808s  1m32.042s  1m31.231s
 5.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari      1m32.555s  1m31.819s  1m31.352s
 6.  Jenson Button       McLaren      1m32.636s  1m31.763s  1m31.378s
 7.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes     1m32.238s  1m31.886s  1m31.494s
 8.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams     1m32.361s  1m31.874s  1m31.535s
 9.  Nico Hulkenberg     Williams     1m32.211s  1m31.926s  1m31.559s
10.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes     1m32.513s  1m32.073s  1m31.846s
11.  Nick Heidfeld       Sauber       1m33.011s  1m32.187s
12.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari      1m32.721s  1m32.321s
13.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault      1m32.849s  1m32.422s
14.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber       1m32.783s  1m32.427s
15.  Adrian Sutil        Force India  1m33.186s  1m32.659s
16.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso   1m33.471s  1m33.071s
17.  Vitantonio Liuzzi   Force India  1m33.216s  1m33.154s
18.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso   1m33.568s
19.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus        1m35.346s
20.  Heikki Kovalainen   Lotus        1m35.464s
21.  Lucas di Grassi     Virgin       1m36.265s
22.  Timo Glock          Virgin       1m36.332s
23.  Bruno Senna         Hispania     1m37.270s
24.  Sakon Yamamoto      Hispania     1m37.365s

All timing unofficial
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