The land of the rising sun gave us an exciting qualifying session full of penalties for some drivers. Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas will receive a 5 position grid penalty, Jolyon Palmer and Carlos Sainz 20 positions grid penalty and Fernando Alonso a 35 position grid penalty.
First session of qualifying and Ferrari worked hard after Raikkonen’s crash to have the car ready for the qualifyin session. Valtteri Bottas made a mistake after turn 9 and almost hit the barrier. Both Mercedes were on top but Max Verstappen with the super soft compound improved Hamilton’s time and was now on top. The British driver didn’t want to lose that provisional first position, so he improved the time with soft compound. Just at the end of the session Romain Grosjean crashed at the first sector causing a red fkag abd the end of the session. Hamilton finished at the top with Grosjean, Gasly, Stroll, Ericsson and Wehrlein were at the knockout zone.
Q2 time and now any mistake would mean being out for the battle for the top 10. Only with the first attempt, Lewis Hamilton broke the track record with a 1:27.819. Only Sebastian Vettel was close to Hamilton’s time, but with a 0.663 of distance with the championship leader. The session continued without problems and we’re heading into the final minute and final lap for everyone. Only Bottas and Raikkonen made their lap with soft compound. Chequered flag and again Lewis Hamilton finished on top with Vandoorne, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Palmer and Sainz finished at the knockout zone.
Final round of qualifying where probably we’re going to see a new pole position for Lewis Hamilton if we don’t have any surprise. On their first attempt, Vettel was 2nd with 0.452 of difference with Lewis Hamilton who was again on provisional pole. Kimi Raikkonen was the only driver of the top ones who didn’t make a lap and will make only one attempt.
Last minute and final attempt for everyone. Kimi Raikkonen only could jump into the 6th position but he will face a 5 position grid penalty for tomorrow. Something that Valtteri Bottas also has, but he could jump into the 2nd position, but what is clear is that no one could beat Lewis Hamilton’s time.
Pole position for Lewis Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas 2nd and Sebastian Vettel 3rd. The top 10 was completed with Ricciardo, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Ocon, Perez, Massa and Alonso.
For tomorrow’s race Ferrari has to face against a really strong Lewis Hamilton who wants to increase his advantage at the championship, but in F1 everything can happen so stay tuned to know what will happen at the Japanese Grand Prix.