GPI 2016 Japanese Grand Prix - Page 144

QUALIFYING REPORT The final two Q3 berths went to the Force Indias of Hulkenberg and Perez. In Q3, Hamilton for the first time stated a forceful case for pole position. His opening run yielded a time of 1:30.758 and that netted him provisional pole with 0.195 in hand over Rosberg. The battle for the places immediately behind was equally intense with just five hundredths of a second separating thirdplaced Raikkonen from Ricciardo in sixth place. Sandwiched between them were Vettel in fourth and Verstappen in fifth. It was the final sector that made the difference for Rosberg on the final run. After losing out in S1, the German was marginally quicker than his team-mate in the middle sector and in the final sector, and secured his 30th career pole with just 13 thousandths of a second in hand over his close title rival. The fight for P3 and P4, meanwhile, went Ferrari’s way with the Scuderia stretching away slightly from Red Bull on the final runs. Raikkonen finished as the only man outside of the Mercedes duo to dip below 1m31s. Vettel qualified fourth ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo. This time there were almost three tenths of a second between P3 and P6. Vettel though will drop back to P7 once his penalty is applied. Behind the Red Bulls, Perez qualified seventh for Force India, with Grosjean eighth for Haas. The final two spots in Q3 were filled by Hulkenberg and Gutierrez.