The McLaren team have been pinning their hopes on an improved Honda engine introduced last weekend in Malaysia, but have found Honda’s home track of Suzuka to be a circuit not matched to their car’s skills.
In qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, Jenson Button missed out on Q2, settling in 17th place. Alonso was just ahead of him to scrape through to the second session, but he finished 15th – lower than where he was in 2015 when he blasted the Honda power unit as a GP2 engine.
Meanwhile, out front, Nico Rosberg secured pole position with just a 0.013 second gap over Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Räikkönen scooped third place, with two Red Bull drivers behind him, Verstappen ahead of Ricciardo. Both Haas drivers got into the top ten for the first time, with Grosjean 8th and Gutiérrez 10th. Williams and Toro Rosso were firmly in the mid-field, whilst Renault, Sauber and Manor were towards the rear of the field as per usual.
Filed under F1Minute
References Jenson Button, Kimi Räikkönen, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
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