Japanese Grand Prix: Formula One 2019 – live!
- Updates from the race at the Suzuka circuit
- Ferrari lock-out front row of the grid in Sunday qualifying
- Any thoughts? Email or tweet @scott_heinrich
What of Mercedes? The general consensus is that Suzuka is tailor-made for the car but their bid for a sixth straight win in the Japanese GP – they haven’t lost at Suzuka in the hybrid engine era – looks less than straightforward now after Ferrari’s tour de force in qualifying. Still, the Silver Arrows will have their own plans with both Bottas and Hamilton enjoying an unobstructed view of their Ferrari rivals on the grid. And they’ll need them. Around 0.3 secs clear of their rivals through practice, the gap was turned on its head in qualifying with Hamilton 0.238 secs behind the best that Vettel could muster.
Hamilton’s win in Russia strengthened his grip on the title but he can’t wrap up his sixth drivers’ championship today. It is possible, however, for the champ to eliminate everyone bar Bottas from contention heading to Mexico. Vettel is one of four men mathematically in the hunt of running down Hamilton, but he is a whopping 128 points in arrears of the Brit. Bottas (73 points behind Hamilton), Leclerc (107) and Max Verstappen (110) are the others. As for Mercedes, they can equal Ferrari’s record of six consecutive constructors’ championships at Suzuka if they outscore the Scuderia by 14 points.
What a Quali session! It’s an all silver second row for today’s #JapaneseGP!
Valtteri will start P3, with Lewis alongside him in P4!
We gave that everything everything we had! Looks like we’ve got two red cars to catch, boys… pic.twitter.com/1eH4nJcVBj
1 Vettel 2 Leclerc
3 Bottas 4 Hamilton
5 Verstappen 6 Albon
7 Sainz Jr 8 Norris
9 Gasly 10 Grosjean
11 Giovinazzi 12 Stroll
13 Räikkönen 14 Kyvat
15 Hulkenberg 16 Ricciardo
17 Perez 18 Russell
19 Magnussen 20 Kubica
Lights out: 4.10pm (AEDT)
Good afternoon, sports fans. Welcome to a Sunday at Suzuka that, thanks to Typhoon Hagibis, can only be described as super. This is just the fifth time in Formula One history that qualifying and the race has been held on the same day. And the morning’s action didn’t disappoint, whetting the appetite for what should be a fascinating race.
Qualifying belonged solely to Ferrari, the Scuderia locking out the front row with Sebastian Vettel to start from pole ahead of Charles Leclerc. It’s Ferrari’s fifth successive pole position, a feat they haven’t achieved since 2001 and something that will be even more satisfying after the dominance of Mercedes in practice. The Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton will start on the second row.
Source: Formula 1