F1: Vettel Back On Form With Suzuka Pole

Sebastian Vettel celebrating his fifth pole position at Suzuka. Image sourced from @XBPImages via Twitter.

Sebastian Vettel has secured pole position for Ferrari ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Vettel Leads Ferrari 1-2

Vettel’s astonishing lap awarded him a 57th career pole, aswell as his fifth pole at the historic Suzuka circuit.

Vettel: “The conditions are very different to what we had on Friday. I really enjoyed it, but it is only part of the job done. Let’s look ahead to this afternoon”

Charles Leclerc looked poised to be the lead Ferrari once again, but Vettel turned the tables in Q3.

The Monegasque driver just under two-tenths away from his Ferrari team-mate.

Charles Leclerc congratulating team-mate Sebastian Vettel on his pole. Image courtesy of Motorsportimages.com

Leclerc: “Seb did an amazing lap and he deserves to be on pole today. He was just too quick, so congratulations to him.”

“We’re surprised but happy to be 1-2 on the grid but it’s the race that counts the most”, added Leclerc.

Mercedes Struggles

All throughout the weekend Mercedes looked set to challenge for pole.

However, even with their new upgrade, the Silver Arrows were unable to topple the prancing horses.

Valtteri Bottas lead the Mercedes duo. The Finn narrowly edging out world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton to third position.

Valterri Bottas edges out team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying. Image sourced from @MercedesAMGF1 via Twitter.

Bottas: “We seemed quite strong, but they are quicker on the straight lines. We are trying everything we can to get ahead, nothing is lost for us yet.”

Battle Of The Bulls

Max Verstappen ended the session in fifth place, ahead of Alexandaer Albon in sixth place.

The Thai, who was making his Suzuka debut set an identical time to Verstappen of a 1:27.851.

Alexander Albon giving Verstappen a run for his money at Honda’s home grand prix. Image sourced from @RedBullRacing via Twitter.

Unfortunately for Albon, Verstappen set his time first, which is why the Dutchman starts in-front.

McLaren once again led the mid-field, as Carlos Sainz planted his car onto the head of the fourth row.

The Spaniard will line up in seventh just ahead of rookie team-mate Lando Norris.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly produced a stunning lap to secure ninth place. Image courtesy of Motorsportimages.com

Pierre Gasly mananged to place his Toro Rosso in Q3, setting a blistering lap, which will see him line up in ninth place.

His fellow Frenchman Romain Grosjean, will start tenth for Haas.

Renault Hit Trouble

Daniel Ricciardo had a qualifying to forget, as he failed to get out of Q1. The Australian will line up down in sixteenth for Renault.

Looking across the garage, it wasn’t much better for team-mate Nico Hulkenberg as the German suffered a major issue during Q2.

Forcing Hulkenberg to line-up just ahead of Ricciardo in fifteenth place.

Typhoon Aftermath

With Suzuka still suffering from extreme winds due to Typhoon Hagibis, many drivers struggled to get to grips with the conditions.

As a result, both Robert Kubica and Kevin Magnussen ended up in the barriers heading out of the final corner.



The incidents subsequently causing two red-flags during the opening minutes of qualifying.

Leaving both teams with massive pressure to repair the cars in time for the race.

Japanese GP Starting Grid:

Image sourced from @FIA via Twitter.