Qualifying – Rosberg edges Hamilton in Suzuka thriller
October 8 2016 , 12:00 am
Nico Rosberg will start the 2016 Formula 1 Emirates Japanese Grand Prix from pole position after beating Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.013s in qualifying at Suzuka on Saturday. Behind them there was little to choose between Ferrari and Red Bull, but the Scuderia won out with Kimi Raikkonen third and Sebastian Vettel – carrying a three-place grid penalty for his collision in Malaysia – fourth.
Max Verstappen out-qualified Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo in fifth and sixth, with Sergio Perez next up for Force India. Haas were the surprise of the hour, with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez eighth and tenth respectively, split by the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
As Vettel led a Ferrari one-two in Q1, the opening phase ended in elimination for McLaren’s Jenson Button, Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, Sauber team mates Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, and the Manors of Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein, with the latter also carrying a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Q2 then saw the demise of Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz (who spun at Spoon on his final flying lap), McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.
Thus the provisional grid lines up: Rosberg, Hamilton; Raikkonen, Verstappen; Ricciardo, Perez; Vettel, Grosjean; Hulkenberg, Gutierrez; Bottas, Massa; Kvyat, Sainz; Alonso, Palmer; Button, Magnussen; Ericsson, Nasr; Ocon, Wehrlein.