Sebastian Vettel Scores Pole in Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix
Red Bull scores 1-2 in qualifying with Sebastian Vettel scoring the Pole in 2012 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix qualifying.
Schumacher who has announced his retirement, made everybody gasp for breath when he was on the verge of being the only driver who couldn’t qualify under the 107% rule. He was in hard tires and had perhaps planned two back to back laps. His first lap was compromised as he ran wide and despite slow cars ahead of him, he could squeeze through and score P16 and qualify to Q2.
The following drivers failed to qualify for Q2
Bruno Senna of Williams at 1:33.405,
Heikki Kovalainen of Caterham at 1:34.657
Timo Glock of Marussia at 1:35.213
Pedro de la Rosa of HRT 1:35.385
Charles Pic of Marussia 1:35.429
Vitaly Petrov of Caterham 1:35.432
Narain Karthikeyan of HRT 1:36.734
It was a great result for Pedro de la Rosa of HRT who outqualified Charles Pic of Marussia and Vitaly Petrov of Caterham.
Mercedes was not fast enough. Michael Schumacher waited till the last moment to hit the track. However, at 1:32.469 he could score the 13th position, faster than his much younger team mate Nico Rosberg who scored P15 with a time of 1:32.625. Michael Schumacher however has a penalty of 10 grid slots for the accident in Singapore.
Felipe Massa who was threatening to out pace his much fancied rival Fernando Alonso, could only score the P11 position at 1:32.293. Paul di Resta at 1:32.327 is at P12. Pastor Maldonado of Williams again outscored his team mate Bruno Senna. Maldonado set a time of 1:32.512. Daniel Ricciardo scored 1:32.954 for a P16 position ahead of his team mate Jean-Eric Vergne who set a time of 1:33.368
At the top of the table, it was an intensely fought session, with the RedBulls locking up the front row. Sebastian Vettel at 1:30.839 scored the Pole while his team mate Mark Webber at 1:31.090 came in second. Jenson Button of McLaren scored 1:31.290 outscored his team mate Lewis Hamilton who is going to Mercedes at the end of the season. However, Jenson Button will drop down 5 positions due to a gearbox change. The local hero Kamui Kobayashi at 1:31.700 scored the P4 position for Sauber and will be elevated to P3 due to Jenson Button’s penalty.
Romain Grosjean at 1:31.898 scored P5, Sergio Perez at 1:32.022 scored P6. Fernando Alonso at 1:32.114 was P7, Kimi Raikkonen at 1:32.208 was P8, Hamilton at 1:32.327 was P9. Nico Hulkenberg didn’t choose to set a time and was P10.
Many questions to answer. Will Michael Schumacher overcome his 10 place grid penalty and score good points as Suzuka is a drivers circuit?