Rosberg takes Japanese pole after huge Kvyat crash

untitledSaturday’s qualifying session at Suzuka finished in dramatic fashion after Daniil Kvyat crashed his Red Bull at the end of Q3, leaving Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg on pole, less than a tenth of a second up on team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Williams were the Silver Arrows’ biggest rivals, with Valtteri Bottas third and Felipe Massa fifth, split by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, whose team mate Kimi Raikkonen was sixth. Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Red Bull, ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Kvyat ended up tenth after walking away from the wreckage of his heavily-damaged RB12. The Russian put a wheel on the grass on the run up to the hairpin and lost control before hitting the barriers and barrel rolling to a stop.

Max Verstappen progressed into Q2, but was unable to participate, having stopped his Toro Rosso with a loss of power at the hairpin at the end of Q1.

The Dutchman thus dropped out in the second phase, along with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg – carrying a three-place grid drop for his collision with Massa in Singapore, Carlos Sainz in the sister Toro Rosso, Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

Verstappen’s drama prevented several drivers improving on their final Q1 runs and eliminated in the opening phase were McLaren’s Jenson Button, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson – who survived a spin at Spoon early in the session, team mate Felipe Nasr, and the Marussias of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi.

Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying Results
Pos. Car # Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Roseberg 1:33.015 1:32.632 1:32.584 Leader 16
2 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:32.844 1:32.789 1:32.660 -0.076 15
3 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:34.326 1:33.416 1:33.024 -0.364 11
4 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:34.431 1:33.844 1:33.245 -0.221 11
5 19 Felipe Massa 1:34.744 1:33.377 1:33.337 -0.092 12
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:34.171 1:33.361 1:33.347 -0.010 10
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:34.399 1:34.153 1:33.497 -0.150 17
8 8 Romain Grojean 1:34.398 1:34.278 1:33.967 -0.470 19
9 11 Sergio Perez 1:35.001 1:34.174 0:00.000 -0.207 16
10 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:34.646 1:34.201 0:00.000 -0.027 15
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg* 1:35.328 1:34.390 Eliminated -0.189 13
12 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:34.873 1:34.453 Eliminated -0.063 15
13 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:34.796 1:34.497 Eliminated -0.044 13
14 14 Fernando Alonso 1:35.467 1:34.785 Eliminated -0.288 8
15 33 Max Verstappen 1:34.522 0:00.000 Eliminated 0.263 7
16 22 Jenson Button 1:35.664 Eliminated -1.142 6
17 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:35.673 Eliminated -0.009 5
18 12 Felipe Nasr 1:35.760 Eliminated -0.087 6
19 28 Will Stevens 1:38.783 Eliminated -3.023 5
20 53 Alexander Rossi 1:47.114 Eliminated -8.331 5
  • – Hulkenberg: 3 Place Grid Penalty 

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