Qualifying day for the 2014 running of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka may be remembered as the day that Sebastien Vettel dropped the biggest F1 news bomb since Nigel Mansell left F1 for IndyCar at the end of his 1992 championship-winning season- which is too bad, because the day also saw Nico Rosberg deliver a master class in both staying cool under pressure and getting around the Suzuka circuit quickly.
Very, very quickly.
Rosberg responded to his teammate- 2008 WDC Lewis Hamilton who took the lead in the 2014 championship race 2 weeks ago- in grand style, lapping the Japanese circuit nearly 2 tenths of a second faster than Lewis could in identical machinery. In F1, 2 tenths is a different league. The 7 tenths that the Mercedes duo were able to put on the next-closest team, however, is a different world, leaving such storied names as “Ferrari”, “Williams”, and “McLaren” to scrap for second-best honors … which seems to be the story for 2014, anyway.
Fernando Alonso was able to drag his Ferrari across the line in P5, half a second (and 4 starting positions) ahead of his highly-regarded teammate and ahead of both Red Bull racers. Further back in the field, Sergio Perez ended the session 4 tenths faster than his teammate, and the McLarens split the Red Bulls. You can see the full results, below – and debate whether or not starting position will matter once the super typhoon hits Suzuka and the green flag drops – in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
|FORMULA 1 2014: SUZUKA RESULTS – QUALIFYING|
|Driver No.||Driver||Team||Grid Pos.|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||6|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||9|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||12|
|27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||14|
|NOTE: Vergne qualified P11, Maldonado P17; both drop 10 grid places for engine change.|