Nico Rosberg claims pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix in a dramatic ending to Qualifying, after Daniil Kvyat had a big crash approaching the hairpin and the session was red-flagged. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton was second, Valtteri Bottas third.
Rosberg had been on provisional pole on his first try, by 0.076s over Hamilton - who lost significant time on his first attempt with a lockup into the hairpin.
On way to all second attempts, Red Bull’s Kvyat touched the grass after the Degners and had a massive impact against the wall. "The main thing is he is fine" said Christian Horner afterwards.
Q2 saw more Mercedes dominance with a new one-two, followed by Raikkonen, Massa, Bottas and Vettel. Towards the end, Fernando Alonso made a superb lap, but was 0.5s from O3.
"This has been the best lap I have ever done in Suzuka" he said shortly after. Romain Grosjean did manage to go tenth for Lotus with his final lap.
Eliminated drivers for the second part were Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen - without a time.
The Q1 session was heavily influenced by Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, who stopped on track in the final minutes and resulted in all dropzone drivers having to abort their final laps.
"I was on a good lap!" remarked Marcus Ericsson, one of both Sauber cars eliminated. He was out with Jenson Button, Felipe Nasr, Will Stevens and Alex Rossi.
Qualifying top ten
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:32.584 2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +0.076 3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +0.440 4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +0.661 5. Felipe Massa, Williams, +0.753 6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +0.763 7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +0.913 8. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, +1.383 9. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1.590 10. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, +1.617
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