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  • Vettel Takes Pole In Chaotic Qualifying Session

    Sebastian Vettel took Pole position ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli & McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in an action packed qualifying session for tomorrow’s Japanese GP.

    Red Bull’s Mark Webber did not appear in any part of qualifying after an accident in Practice 3 saw the Aussie’ car to badly damaged to be repaired in time for qualifying.

    However Q1 saw more action in 15 minutes than we have seen in some Grand Prix’s this season, with spins and accidents from Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi & McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen. Although Buemi hit the wall the young Swiss driver was able to recover to the pit and replace his rear wing in time to still make the cut and get into Q2.

    Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel set the pace in Q1, with the usual suspects of Fisicella, Nakajima, Grosjean all failing to make the cut for Q2. They were joined by Force India’s Tonio Liuzzi who had a dismal session qualifying down in 19th.

    Q2 got underway with a heavy crash for Toro Rosso’s other driver Jamie Alguersuari, who also crashed down at the second Degna corner, prompting the first Red flag of the afternoon. The session was promptly restarted but then another red flag was thrown when Toyota’s Timo Glock ran wide at the end of the last corner onto the pit straight and went a head on into the barrier. The German driver was airlifted to hospital where it was confirmed that he had an injury to his left leg.

    The session restarted yet again with only 7 minutes remaining and drivers frantically hitting the track trying top set a time. A late spin from Sebastien Buemi who this time knocked his front wing off brought out the yellow flags, just as the Brawn duo were trying to set a fast lap time.

    Although the Brawn’s made it into Q3, Rosberg, Alonso & Kubica were not fast enough and joined the already out Glock & Alguersuari. Buemi made it into Q3 but his car was so badly damaged after his crash in his Q2 that he was not able to take part.

    Q3 began with yet another car going into the wall down at the second Degna corner, this time it was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and caused the 3rd Red flag of the afternoon. After the session was restarted in was Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel who went fastest and secured his 4th pole position this year. Adrian Sutil put in another impressive performance to qualify up in 4th and Barrichello must be happy to qualify ahead of his team mate Button in the battle for the World Championship.

    After Qualifying Penalties:

    After quite simply a chaotic qualifying session the race stewards had their say on where everyone should actually be starting. The penaties are fairly simple but how that affects the grid makes it all like a massive game of tetras. Try and stick with me as it does get a bit confusing!

    So here we go, Adrian Sutil, Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button & Fernando Alonso were all given 5 place grid penalties for ignoring the waved yellow flags during Q2. Thus this means that Sutil will start 8th and Alonso will start from 17th. While the two Championship contenders will start from 10th and 12th respectively, Barrichello ahead of Button.

    However later on Sebastien Buemi was reprimanded by the stewards for his adventurous off road driving at the end of Q2 that was deemed dangerous by the stewards. Thus the Toro Rosso driver was demoted 5 places on the grid and will start from 12th. This has elevated the Brawn’s back up a place on the grid.

    Now if the race creates as much excitement and crashes and uncertainty as qualifying, then one thing is for sure we are in for one hell of a race tomorrow.

Tagged with...
  • Japanese GP 2009
  • 2009 Season
  • Suzuka Circuit
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Sebastien Buemi
  • Jaime Alguersuari
  • Timo Glock
  • Heikki Kovalainen
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Nick Heidfeld driving his BMW Sauber F1.09 at the 2009 Japanese Grand Prix - © BMW AG

Heidfeld qualifed a strong 4th in Japan © BMW AG

Position Driver Team Time
1 S Vettel Red Bull 1:32.160
2 J Trulli Toyota 1:32.220
3 L Hamilton McLaren 1:32.395
4 A Sutil Force India 1:32.466
5 R Barrichello Brawn 1:32.660
6 N Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:32.945
7 J Button Brawn 1:32.962
8 K Raikkonen Ferrari 1:32.980
9 H Kovalainen McLaren No Time
10 S Buemi Toro Rosso No Time
11 N Rosberg Williams 1:31.482
12 F Alonso Renault 1:31.638
13 R Kubica BMW Sauber 1:32.341
14 T Glock Toyota No Time
15 J Alguersuari Toro Rosso No Time
16 G Fisichella Ferrari 1:31.704
17 K Nakajima Williams 1:31.718
18 R Grosjean Renault 1:32.073
19 V Liuzzi Force India 1:32.087
20 M Webber Red Bull No Time