Vettel on Pole After Disrupted Suzuka Quali

October 3, 2009

Sebastian Vettel took pole in this morning’s disrupted qualifying session for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix, where three drivers’ efforts saw them in the tyre wall.

Timo Glock’s crash at the start of the pit straight was the most worrying of the three incidents, with the Toyota driver eventually being airlifted to hospital with a wound to his left leg. The incident was the second to bring out the red flag in Q2, the first being the result of Jaime Alguersuari crashing into the tyre wall at Degner Two. Heikki Kovalainen brought out the third red flag, this time in Q3, again, sliding off the track at Degner Two.

As well as the three red flagged incidents, Alguersuari’s teammate Sebastien Buemi was also in the wars, just about managing to recover his Toro Rosso after a tap with the tyre wall at the infamous Degner in Q1. A rear wing change later, and Buemi posted the fourth fastest time in the first session, but after running wide exiting the Spoon curve in Q2, and dragging his Toro Rosso along the barriers, his car was too damaged to take part in Q3.

After Kovalainen’s accident was cleared, early on in Q3, Vettel posted the fastest time of 1:32.160, to take pole position, with Jarno Trulli second fastest in the Toyota. Last weekend’s pole sitter and race winner, Lewis Hamilton, will start in third, with Adrian Sutil completing the second row. Rubens Barrichello set a faster time than teammate and championship leader, Jenson Button, qualifying in fifth, with Button directly behind him in seventh, with the BMW of Nick Heidfeld between the two. Kimi Raikkonen was the slowest of the eight to post a time in Q3, with Kovalainen and Buemi both out as a result of their crashes.

After being checked over by medics, Alguersuari is fit to take his place in 15th on tomorrow’s grid. It is unknown whether Glock, who qualified 14th, will race tomorrow, and it is expected that Toyota will make an announcement in the morning. Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica were the three who missed out on the top ten shoot out following the restart of Q2, and they will start 11th, 12th and 13th respectively. However, after both Brawns set their fastest Q2 lap times under yellow flags, Alonso said after the session that he expects to start higher up, as under yellow flag conditions, you are expected to slow down. However, neither Brawn driver had posted a time to get through to Q3, and as the session had already finished, both drivers continued their pace.

While Vettel grabbed pole for Red Bull, at a race which is crucial for his world championship chances, his teammate Mark Webber was unable to qualify, after a shunt at Degner Two in third practice earlier in the morning, left his car needing a complete re-build. Webber will start tomorrow’s race from the pitlane.

With the amount of crashes the Suzuka circuit has seen this weekend, along with the rain which fell throughout free practice on Friday, hindering the amount of time the teams had on track, tomorrow’s race is looking like it may well be as eventful as qualifying. With Button needing only five points more than Barrichello to secure the drivers’ title, you wouldn’t want to miss it, as, as qualifying proved, anything can happen.

For UK viewers, the race starts at 6am tomorrow morning on BBC One.


One comment

  1. […] Vettel on Pole After Disrupted Suzuka Quali « An F1 Fanatic's Blog […]

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