Webber Takes Top Spot in Japan
After the sudden loss of former Marussia test driver Maria de Villota yesterday, the paddock was in a sombre mood as qualifying took place at Suzuka.
Jenson Button was leading the times with a 1:32.606 near the start of Q1 but Fernando Alonso then claimed top spot with a 1:32.371.
There was a fire in the Sauber garage as the car of Esteban Gutierriez went up in flames, which thankfully was quickly extinguished.
Another to feel the heat was Jean-Eric Vergne as he pulled up on the circuit, flames pouring out the back of his car. With the session red-flagged due to the incident, on the restart there was three minutes remaining for Adrian Sutil to get out of the drop zone.
Out in Q1 were: Adrian Sutil, Jean-Eric Vergne, Max Chilton, Charles Pic, Giedo Van Der Garde, Jules Bianchi
Kimi Raikkonen set a target time of 1:32.020 in Q2 as his team mate Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg were snapping at his heels looking to beat his time.
With five minutes remaining Paul Di Resta and Valterri Bottas were looking to make it into Q3.
Sergio Perez in the McLaren was struggling to get into the top ten, as was Pastor Maldonado.
Q2 losers were: Sergio Perez, Paul Di Resta, Valterri Bottas, Esteban Gutierrez, Pastor Maldonado, Daniel Ricciardo
Mark Webber was looking on course to take pole in Q3 with a 1:30.975 and with only Sebastian Vettel to beat him, the last few laps provided great entertainment.
Fernando Alonso in 8th got beaten by his team mate Felipe Massa who took 5th in Q3.
Webber kept his pole position, with Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in 2nd and 3rd.
- Mark Webber
- Sebastian Vettel
- Lewis Hamilton
- Romain Grosjean
- Felipe Massa
- Nico Rosberg
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Fernando Alonso
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Jenson Button