Advantage Rosberg with Suzuka pole

Rosberg Japan 2014

Championship contender Nico Rosberg beat his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position at the Suzuka International Circuit.

Rosberg had set the pace in Q2 and on the first runs in the top ten shootout. The Silver Arrows driver then secured his place in top spot by shaving just over a tenth off his time on his second run.

After Rosberg crossed the line for the final time, Hamilton completed his lap but a lock-up at the hairpin cost him and he ended up two tenths slower.

This mean that both of Rosberg’s flying laps in Q3 were good enough for what could prove to be an important pole position in the world championship battle.

The Williams pairing of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa lock out the second row, with Fernando Alonso taking his usual slot of fifth for Ferrari.

As for Red Bull, this was a difficult session. Daniel Ricciardo ended up sixth despite on the edge of elimination in Q1, while Sebastian Vettel was only ninth. Both drivers carrying wet set-ups in anticipation of a rain-hit Japanese Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen won the intra-McLaren duel by beating Jenson Button to seventh position, with Kimi Raikkonen rounding up the top ten.

Jean-Eric Vergne was the fastest of those to be eliminated in Q2 in P11, falling two tenths short of relegating Vettel with his final lap.

Despite this, Vergne is still ahead of Force India driver Sergio Perez, who complained of a power problem during Q2. Vergne’s Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat will start in P13 after failing to improve on his second run.

Because of breaking into his sixth power unit, Vergne is set to be hit with a ten-place grid penalty for the race.

Nico Hulkenberg will start in P14 and edged out both Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Pastor Maldonado was bumped out of Q2 contention in the final seconds of the first part of qualifying by Sutil.

The Lotus driver, will drop back ever further on the grid thanks to using his sixth V6 engine of the season. He was less than a tenth second off his team-mate Romain Grosjean.

Because Maldonado is only able to serve five of his ten-place grid drop, the remaining positions will be rolled over to next weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson’s strong weekend continued, as he ended qualifying P19 ahead of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi.

As for home hero Kamui Kobayashi, whose Friday afternoon session was ruined by a crash, the Japanese ended up in P21 ahead of Max Chilton.

So another Silver Arrows one-two with Nico Rosberg achieving his twelfth career pole position. He now equals his pole position record with Gerhard Berger and David Coulthard.

Qualifying positions, Japanese Grand Prix:

1 Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m32.506s
2 Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m32.703s
3 Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m33.128s
4 Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m33.527s
5 Fernando Alonso    Ferrari    1m33.740s
6 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m34.075s
7 Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes    1m34.242s
8 Jenson Button    McLaren-Mercedes    1m34.317s
9 Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull/-Renault    1m34.432s
10 Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m34.542s    2.036s
11 Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m34.984s
12 Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m35.089s
13 Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m35.092s
14 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m35.099s
15 Adrian Sutil    Sauber-Ferrari    1m35.364s
16 Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari    1m35.681s
17 Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault    1m35.984s
18 Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault    1m36.813s
19 Jules Bianchi    Marussia-Ferrari    1m36.943s
20 Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault    1m37.015s
21 Max Chilton    Marussia-Ferrari    1m37.481s
22 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus/Renault    1m35.917s

2 thoughts to “Advantage Rosberg with Suzuka pole”

  1. Formula 1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton said he “wasn’t really feeling it” in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, where he lost out to Nico Rosberg for pole position.

    Rosberg took pole at Suzuka by nearly two tenths of a second and Hamilton, who crashed towards the end of final practice in the morning, said his team-mate simply did a better job.

    “I wasn’t quick enough today,” said Hamilton. “Nico was extremely quick, I did the best I could.

    “Today I just wasn’t really feeling it. I was still fast, but Nico was fantastically fast.”

    Hamilton reported a vibration during Q3, but he played down its influence on qualifying.

    “Maybe it was a tyre imbalance,” he said. “But it didn’t get in the way of the result.

    “The guys did a fantastic job to rebuild the car after I binned it – so thanks to them.”

    Rosberg added: “It was a great day today. A real pleasure, so amazing to drive.

    “We are prepared as we can be [for the race]. We are expecting it to be wet.

    “The last experience we had in the wet was Spa where the car was really, really quick. So if it rains it could be even better.”


  2. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne gets a 10-place grid penalty for using his sixth engine of the season. has the details.

    Jean-Eric Vergne will get a 10-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix after needing his sixth engine of the 2014 Formula 1 season.

    The Toro Rosso driver used his sixth internal combustion engine of the year during qualifying, where he qualified in 11th position, after being hit by problems in final practice.

    Vergne just missed the top ten despite completing just eight laps in FP3 and missing FP1 as he was replaced by rookie Max Verstappen.

    However, the Frenchman will drop to 20th place on the grid after the engine change.

    Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado was hit with a similar penalty after needing his sixth engine of the season after Friday practice.

    Maldonado, however, qualified in 17th position, meaning he will carry over a five-place grid penalty to the Russian Grand Prix next weekend.

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