Vettel leads Red Bull front row in Japan
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, October 10th 2010, 02:04 GMT|
Sebastian 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