Sebastian Vettel simply unstoppable.
Jenson Button misses pole by .009 of a second.
Massa outqualifies his team mate lines up along side Hamilton.
Button: “It has been a pretty good weekend. As always I love driving around here, Suzuka is a phenomenal circuit, and when the car working around here it is ideal.
I was building up to Q3 and thought that last lap would be enough – but it was nine thousandths, so not good enough.
I felt like I got everything out of the car. I had a bit of oversteer on the last run but maybe I was pushing too hard. It’s great from team to be close to Red Bull on a circuit where they have been dominant in the past.”
Vettel: “What a qualifying. Yesterday I went off in free practice and damaged the wing, so it wasn’t ideal in the afternoon to prepare the car for today.
We suffered a bit this morning in particular where we were kind of coming back regarding car balance but we were too slow.
We sat down after the practice session this morning and fortunately got everything together and were able to get every single bit out of the car in qualifying.
It was crucial, there’s not much between Jenson Button and myself. It was a tough qualifying but I enjoyed it a lot. It is a long lap, you have a mega first sector, every time it is a challenge, it’s hard to get it right. I had a bit of a wobble in the first sector but got it right in the second sector.
Regarding the point or no point, I am not really focusing on that.
I had a lesson yesterday where I didn’t do a big mistake, but for a little moment I was not 100 per cent focused and lost the car.
Tomorrow is a long race and a very challenging race. We start from pole position and it will be very special tomorrow. Lot of things can happen and DRS can open a couple of chances so we’ll see where we are.
We had a good racecar yesterday in preparation so it should be alright. I am looking forward to the race, not the point.”
Senna: “It was a bit of a squeeze getting my car together in time for qualifying but the team did a fantastic job to mend it after my mishap in practice this morning. I haven’t been able to get as much track time as I would have liked yet this weekend, however the car performed flawlessly throughout qualifying, and the strategy we deployed helped put us in a strong position for the race tomorrow.
I am really looking forward to lining up on the grid, as it should be an exciting race. As I’ve said several times this weekend, I love this track and I am very well supported here so I hope to be able to give the supporters in the stands something to shout about.”
Petrov: “I’m pleased with lining up ninth on the grid. We are looking much stronger here than in Singapore, and we’re demonstrating the potential of the R31 at high speed corner tracks once again. The car has felt progressively better each time I’ve taken to the wheel this weekend.
It felt good in FP1 and FP2, and then FP3 this morning confirmed my sense that there will be a good opportunity for us to perform well here. The stability of the car improved around the high speed corners and the traction was better too, so I’m feeling confident going into tomorrow. A lot of different strategies will be played out during the race but I’m glad we are back in the hunt again.”
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.466s 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.475s + 0.009 3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.617s + 0.151 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m30.804s + 0.338 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.886s + 0.420 6. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m31.156s + 0.690 7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes No time 8. Bruno Senna Renault No time 9. Vitaly Petrov Renault No time 10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari No time Q2 cut-off time: 1m32.380s Gap ** 11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m37.035s + 1.466 12. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.160s + 1.591 13. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.347s + 1.778 14. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.370s + 1.801 15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m37.496s + 1.927 16. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.528s + 1.959 17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m37.593s + 2.024 Q1 cut-off time: 1m35.111s Gap * 18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m35.454s + 2.828 19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m35.514s + 2.888 20. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.439s + 3.813 21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.507s + 3.881 22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m37.846s + 5.220 23. Nico Rosberg Mercedes No time 24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth No time