Mercedes appeared to be the team to beat after Friday practice at Suzuka, but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel caused a shock as he delivered a flying lap so good, he chose to tell his team how good he secured pole position in a delayed Japanese Grand Prix qualifying session.
The pressure was on for the entire grid after third practice was cancelled and qualifying rescheduled for this morning because of the typhoon in Japan, While the conditions weren’t as bad as thought, the heavy rain had washed off all of the rubber laid down during Friday practice.
It ensured conditions were tricky in qualifying, with the sun out but strong gusts blowing across the circuit saw retiring Kubica and Magnussen both caught out and crashing early on. But when it got down to the real front end business, it was Ferrari rather than Mercedes who impressed, with Vettel delivering the goods on the track he calls his favourite. Ferrari taking front row positions with Bottas third and Hamilton 4th. Hamilton said afterwards “it is what it is and let’s see what happens in the race”