Lewis Hamilton secures pole position for Japanese Grand Prix

  • Lewis Hamilton secures pole position for Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton secures pole position for Japanese Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas actually qualified second, but will start sixth after a copping a penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

While the Mercedes driver had that advantage to start from the pole position and gain a huge lead in the championship, the Dutch from Red Bull destroyed his plans as he did previously with the German driver in Singapore GP.

With five races remaining in the 2017 calendar, Vettel is now 34 points behind Hamilton for the F1 World Championship. "I have never really had this view here".

"In the last years, we have performed very strongly there".

"I anticipate a little bit more hopefully a little bit more like (the Belgian Grand Prix at) Spa, where Ferrari is going be right on us and potentially a little bit quicker".

"Being able to put together laps like today is the one you wait for all weekend, Q1, Q2, Q3 - motorsport is about ultimate performance from myself and the vehicle".

"It's incredible for me.10 years or whatever it is, my first pole position here".

"It's my first time".

But that hoodoo ended today for the Brit, who produced a stunning lap in Q3 to achieve his 71st pole position. "It is a real confidence boost to our group".

Verstappen, the victor in Malaysia last weekend who was also about a second off Hamilton's pace at Suzuka, said Red Bull were just not as strong this time.

Hamilton said he was "super excited" after taking the pole.

"It has been a really hard weekend and obviously I went off this morning but the guys did a great job getting the auto back together". "You know you were rapid here, Nico was rapid here, I never really got a great balance in the past, so I never did great qualifying".

'They are happy, they enjoy driving these cars which helps the sport, drivers are in a better place which helps the sponsors, helps the team and the fans love it. I'm hoping that our vehicle works well.

Just Hamilton and Vettel were on softs, everyone else was on super softs.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the pace on Friday for the Japanese Grand Prix with a blistering drive in the morning's free practice before rain caused havoc in the afternoon. "I've got eight metres, I've got to try and keep those eight metres that I have and yeah, starts have generally been strong this year, so I'll just try to keep with that".

"The biggest change for tomorrow should the conditions, there should be sunshine which makes everything a bit hotter".

Hamilton spoke about how the Ferrari cars will be quick come race time, but Mercedes has been dominant again recently.

The Japanese Grand Prix, and all of the practice and qualifying rounds will be shown live on Sky Sports Formula One.

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