Japanese Grand Prix: Qualifying as it happened

Adriaan Slabbert Adriaan Slabbert

Follow all the action from Qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix live right here.

15:15 That’s it for Qualifying then!  A dominant display by Hamilton, but the points are handed out tomorrow!  Please do join us at 13:00 tomorrow for all the race action, which we’ll cover for you.  Until then, take it easy, and thank you for joining us today.  Bye for now!

15:12 Here’s the rest of the top ten order:

15:08 And there it is! Lewis Hamilton has utterly destroyed all his rivals and has charged to pole!  Bottas is P2 in the order, but has to serve a grid penalty.  Vettel is P3.

15:03 The drivers are heading out for their final runs…

14:58 Hamilton lowers the track record again, to a 1.27.345.  Can anybody possibly catch the Mercedes man? Vettel is P2, 0.452 seconds down.

14:53: Here we go, it’s time for Q3!

14:46 That’s it for Q2!  We lose five more drivers:

14:40 Hamilton leads the way on a 1.27.819, a new track record.  Vettel and Bottas round out the top three.

14:35 Everybody is out on supersoft tyres, except Raikkonen and Bottas.  The two penalized Finns are on softs.

14:30 Right, Q2 is on, 15 more minutes!

14:26 Grosjean with no clear explanation of what led to his big accident.

14:23 With no time left to complete any more laps, we will lose Grosjean, Gasly, Stroll, and the two Saubers.

14:18 Disaster!  Romain Grosjean has gotten the esses in sector 1 all wrong and has gone wobbling through the gravel and into the barrier!  Game over for the Haas man! The session is red flagged, and with only 1:18 left on the clock, the order is set!

14:15 Into the final few minutes of Q1, some drivers in danger…

14:10 Ferrari have faced a challenge to get Kimi Raikkonen’s car ready for Qualifying after his accident earlier, but the Finn is now out on track.  Meanwhile, Bottas nearly hits the barriers at Degner Two, but escapes and ends up in P2 on the following lap.

14:05 Hamilton sets the initial benchmark, a 1.29.507.  Vettel crosses the line for a 1.29.772.  The two contenders were closely matched through sectors one and two, but Hamilton was two tenths faster in sector three.

14:00 And there’s the green light! Q1 is go! Pascal Wehrlein gets us underway, and he’s swiftly followed by Marcus Ericsson and Lewis Hamilton.

13:55 We appear to have calm, clear conditions for this critical session…

13:50 As an interesting statistic, while Hamilton has two Japanese poles, neither of them have come at Suzuka.  Rather, those particular races (2007, 2008) were held at the Fuji Speedway.  Thus, Suzuka is the only circuit currently on the calendar that Hamilton has not taken pole at in his career.  Can he complete the full collection today?

13:45 Coming to Qualifying, our two title protagonists are certainly the two most successful drivers over one lap around Suzuka, at least, on the current grid.  A reminder:  Bottas has a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.  Red Bull don’t quite seem to have the pace of Mercedes, or even Ferrari, but who knows where they could end up?

13:40 Sebastian Vettel was P3 for Ferrari, 0.324 seconds shy of Bottas, while Kimi Raikkonen followed his silver countryman’s lead to collide with the barriers, albeit at Degner Two.

13:35 Valtteri Bottas led the way in FP3, despite damaging his Mercedes due to a collision with the barriers after running wide at Spoon.  Teammate Lewis Hamilton was second fastest.

13:30 Hello again, welcome back to FOX Sports Asia’s coverage of Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.  We’re 30 minutes away from the start of business!

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