Nico Rosberg claims pole position at Suzuka
Nico Rosberg won pole position for the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Mercedes driver beat his teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the qualifying round which was marked by Daniil Kvyat’s huge crash in the very end of the session.
Mercedes was dominant during the first qualifying round. Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap time of 1:32.844, while Nico Rosberg was 0.171s slower. How fast „silver arrows“ were during this part of qualifying shows that third placed Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari was 1.327s behind.
Manor Marussia’s pair Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson and Jenson Button in McLaren were eliminated after the first qualifying round.
Almost nothing has changed during the second qualifying round as Mercedes was still much more faster than the others, especially than Red Bull and Toro Rosso cars. Nico Rosberg had the best result of 1:32.632, Hamilton was 0.157s behind and Raikkonen was third with 1:33.361.
Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso in McLaren, Pastor Maldonado in Lotus and Nico Hulkenberg in Force India stayed out of the third round.
So, before final round it looked like the only question is which Mercedes driver will take pole position. Rosberg was on top when the session was red flagged after Daniil Kvyat had a big crash. Red Bull driver went too wide approaching the hairpin, cutting the grass with his wheel and was unhurt but his car was completely crashed.
This accident was the last thing seen during the qualifying. Rosberg won pole position in front of his teammate. Valtteri Bottas will start from third and Sebastian Vettel from fourth. Third starting row of the grid is reserved for Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean will start from fourth row, while Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat will start from row five.