Updated: 06/10/2012 09:20 | By pa.press.net

Vettel on pole at Suzuka



Sebastian Vettel claimed the 34th pole position of his career

Sebastian Vettel claimed the 34th pole position of his career

Sebastian Vettel boosted his World Championship hopes as he claimed his fourth consecutive Japanese Grand Prix pole position while Fernando Alonso struggled at Suzuka.

The Red Bull driver produced a superb lap of one minute 30.839 seconds to secure the 34th pole of his career, moving him third on the all-time list - behind only Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.

Mark Webber made it an all-Red Bull front row while home hero Kamui Kobayashi will start third for Sauber as McLaren's Jenson Button, who set the third fastest time, serves a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

But World Championship leader Alonso, who holds a 29-point advantage over Vettel, will only start sixth as Ferrari's recent struggles continued.

It was a bitterly disappointing day for Lewis Hamilton, on a weekend dominated by his move to Mercedes for 2013. He will start behind Button even with his team-mate's penalty.

Hamilton radioed his team in Q1 to tell them he felt he was in for a "struggle" and it proved to be the case as he could only manage the ninth fastest time, putting a dent in his own hopes of closing his 52-point deficit to Alonso.

As a result of Button's grid drop, Romain Grosjean will line up fourth in the leading Renault with new McLaren signing Sergio Perez underlining Sauber's pace this weekend as the Mexican secured fifth on the grid.

Alonso will start sixth as he benefits from Button's penalty, but the Spaniard will be concerned as Ferrari find themselves off the pace of Red Bull and McLaren for the fifth race in a row.

Kimi Raikkonen, who had a spin at the Spoon Curve late in Q3, will line up seventh ahead of the two McLarens. Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was 10th fastest but he also serves a five-place grid penalty after his gearbox was changed following an off in final practice this morning.

Felipe Massa could not repeat his impressive performance in morning practice as he failed to get into Q3 with Paul Di Resta and Michael Schumacher next up, although the seven-time champion is another driver serving a penalty. The German's 10-place drop will see him start on the back row of the grid.

10Comments
06/10/2012 09:59
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Will McLaren fully support Lewis during these last races for the team, Hmmm, let's see, they haven't done a very good job for him or Jenson this season so far! Methinks this team needs some serious restructuring if it wants a constructors title again, from the top down!
06/10/2012 11:27
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I don't care how dangerous it may be......I hope some driver ploughs into that smarmy little German geek and takes him out! He may be a world champion but he'll never be a peoples champ! It's not about being racist here.....I just can't stand him. The way he sulks like an immature school kid when something doesn't go his way, or when he points his finger when he wins to reiterate that he's number 1! Listening to his radio messages that are broadcast somehow annoys me tremendously and I would like to grab hold of his chinstrap and stretch his neck! I know that's irresponsible to say such a thing, but I really can't help it. It doesn't matter how well he does for Red Bull, what with him and that cry-baby Horner bloke, it's not like they have any real say over the sale or promotion of Infiniti motors!!
06/10/2012 11:31
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Jenson 1 second quicker than Hamilton, he hasnt shown that speed in qualifying  all season. I hope Mclaren are acting professional and not letting the emotions of Lewis signing for a rival dictate what they are going to do taticly for the rest of the season. After all there's still the constructers title to go for, something they havnt won in 14 years 

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So Mr May you hope Mclaren are acting proffesionly in respect of Hamiltons 9th place. If you asked Hamilton he will probebly say he is being stiched up and his if asked why he may possible say. is it because I'm black ?Yet another great joke from Mr Hillarity .At least this time teddy throwing boy has'nt given Buttons telemetary to the oppossition.  
06/10/2012 18:23
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whats the point of reporting any of the practise sessions as come qualifying proper drivers who were nowhere are suddenly mega quick and the practise quickies suddenly drop back,waste of time if you ask me!

 

06/10/2012 09:32
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