Nico Rosberg just beat his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by a tenth of a second to take pole for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix. Rosberg was .076 seconds faster than his team-mate. The session was cut short after Red Bull’s Daniil Kyvat crashed in the closing seconds of Q3.
The Russian suffered a huge impact after getting a wheel onto the grass losing control of the car sending him into a roll. Kvyat said that he was ok over team radio but is being checked over by doctors as is routine following a huge crash.
It has reminded people how Suzuka can fight back against the tiniest error and is one of the most challenging track in the world.
Valtteri Bottas qualified third for Williams with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel fourth. It was the similar for their team-mates with Felipe Massa ahead of former Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen sixth.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg qualified just outside the top ten but he will drop three places because of a crash with Massa on Sunday in Singapore.
Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz dropped out in Q2. However Verstappen couldn’t run in that session after he suffered a loss of power at the end of Q1.
Mercedes have returned to where they are expected after making mistakes last weekend in Singapore. It is believed they made mistakes in the set-up of the car, but they have been back at their dominant best around the fast swerves of Suzuka.
Jenson Button had difficulties even before he went out with McLaren telling him not to use a specific engine setting on his first run, which meant he lacked hybrid boost for half his first flying lap in the first part of qualifying. While Fernando Alonso qualified fourteenth.