Qualifying at Suzuka held yet more fires in store for the drivers, as first Esteban Gutiérrez saw flames inside the Sauber garage, quickly hopping from the car. Out on track, Jean-Éric Vergne brought out the red flags when his brakes caught fire. The Toro Rosso dropped out of first qualifying, along with Adrian Sutil who couldn’t find any pace and also had a five place gearbox related penalty as well.
The second session was a close one with drivers battling to squeeze through to the top ten. Jenson Button just made it in whilst his teammate Sergio Pérez had to settle for eleventh.
Into the top ten, Lewis Hamilton was the top Mercedes driver, but he couldn’t come close to the Red Bulls. Romain Grosjean scored a handy fourth place grid slot, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen who was ninth. The two Ferrari drivers also lacked pace, although Massa scored fifth on the grid, whilst Alonso was down in eighth. Sebastian Vettel was struggling with a KERS problem which meant he couldn’t get to the top spot, leaving Mark Webber to take pole position.
Filed under F1Minute
References Adrian Sutil, Esteban Gutiérrez, Jean-Éric Vergne, Jenson Button, Kimi Räikkönen
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