Vettel on pole despite Suzuka madness

Sebastian Vettel has taken pole for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix with a superb lap amidst a hectic qualifying session around the Suzuka circuit.

Jarno Trulli brought much joy to the local Japanese fans with second on the grid for Toyota. Lewis Hamilton rounded off the top three.

Qualifying was full of drama as the session was red flagged on a number of occasions due to driver incidents.

Jaime Alguersuari was also caught out in the second Degner curve, stopping segment two and sending the Spaniard to the medical centre.

Timo Glock also brought Q2 to a hault when his Toyota crashed into the tyre barrier on the final corner. The Toyota driver remained in his car for a long time and was later flown to hospital with a suspected leg wound.

Sebastien Buemi also found himself running wide on the exit of Spoon curve – crashing into the barrier and discarding his front wing onto the track. This incident created much controversy as a number of drivers, including championship rivals, Button and Barrichello, set flying laps despite the yellow flags. Buemi also appeared to spoil flying laps for a number of other drivers as he drove his wrecked car back to the pits.

After much delay, the final segment of qualifying was stopped once more when Heikki Kovalainen also ran wide at Degner two and collided with the tyres.

Pos  Driver       Team                 Q1        Q2        Q3
1.   Vettel       Red Bull-Renault     1:30.883  1:30.341  1:32.160
2.   Trulli       Toyota               1:31.063  1:30.737  1:32.220
3.   Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes     1:30.917  1:30.627  1:32.395
4.   Sutil        Force India-Mercedes 1:31.386  1:31.222  1:32.466
5.   Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes       1:31.272  1:31.055  1:32.660
6.   Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber           1:31.501  1:31.260  1:32.945
7.   Button       Brawn-Mercedes       1:31.041  1:30.880  1:32.962
8.   Raikkonen    Ferrari              1:31.228  1:31.052  1:32.980
9.   Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes     1:31.499  1:31.223
10.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1:31.196  1:31.103
11.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota      1:31.286  1:31.482
12.  Alonso       Renault              1:31.401  1:31.638
13.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber           1:31.417  1:32.341
14.  Glock        Toyota               1:31.550
15.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1:31.571
16.  Fisichella   Ferrari              1:31.704
17.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota      1:31.718
18.  Grosjean     Renault              1:32.073
19.  Liuzzi       Force India-Mercedes 1:32.087
20.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault