Formula 1

Webber Pole Japan


The Aussie clocked a superb time of 1m 39.957s, with Vettel second fastest to complete a Red Bull front-row lockout.

Hamilton, the 2008 F1 world champion, spun at Turn 14 on his final hot lap in Q3, stopping out on track and forcing yellow flags to be waved.

The Stevenage-born racer had to settle for fourth place on the grid alongside Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg, who qualified third.

World champion Sebastian Vettel had earlier grabbed provisional pole position for Red Bull after the first runs in Q3 with a lap of 1m 40.091s.

That was four-tenths quicker than Silver Arrows ace Nico Rosberg, who clocked 1m 40.419s, and Hamilton, who recorded 1m 40.501s.

However, Webber pulled it out of the bag on the second runs with a perfect lap to beat both Mercedes men and Red Bull teammate Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified fifth for Lotus and will line-up on the third row with Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg alongside him.

Next came Romain Grosjean and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, with Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo completing the top 10.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso and McLaren man Jenson Button were the two biggest Q2 casualties, neither making the top 10 shootout.

The Mercedes drivers had topped the timesheets in Q2, with Rosberg fastest ahead of Hamilton.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car               Time       Gap
 1.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault       1m39.957s
 2.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault       1m40.075s  +0.118s
 3.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes               1m40.419s  +0.462s
 4.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes               1m40.501s  +0.544s
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault          1m40.542s  +0.585s
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari         1m40.576s  +0.619s
 7.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault          1m40.997s  +1.040s
 8.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari                1m41.015s  +1.058s
 9.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes       1m41.068s  +1.111s
10.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m41.111s  +1.154s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m40.989s                                    Gap **
11.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari                1m41.093s  +0.620s
12.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes   1m41.133s  +0.660s
13.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes       1m41.200s  +0.727s
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m41.279s  +0.806s
15.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault       1m41.395s  +0.922s
16.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault       1m41.447s  +0.974s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m41.884s                                    Gap *
17.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari         1m41.999s  +1.306s
18.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes   1m42.051s  +1.358s
19.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault       1m43.252s  +2.559s
20.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth      1m43.398s  +2.705s
21.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault       1m43.528s  +2.835s
22.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth      1m44.198s  +3.505s