Live Commentary: Japanese Grand Prix qualifying - as it happened

Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you text commentary of the qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka circuit.

Sebastian Vettel won the last Grand Prix in Singapore to breathe new life into his challenge for a third successive drivers world championship.

However, it was Lewis Hamilton who came out on top in qualifying. He was forced out of the race with gearbox problems.

Follow the action with us below. Please note that qualifying is due to get underway at 6am.


7.10amThat's all from us at Sports Mole. Join us from 6am tomorrow for all the action from the Japanese Grand Prix. Until then...

7.08amButton has finished third, but of course will incur a grid penalty. That'll drop him down to eighth.

7.07amThat's a 34th pole position for Vettel. He's never not been on pole when he has raced at Suzuka. Impressive from the irrepressible German.

Q1This is how the top ten will look tomorrow: Vettel, Webber, Button, Kobayashi, Grosjean, Perez, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg.

Q1It's a Red Bull lockout on the front!

Q1Button goes third with the time elapsed!

Q1Perez goes fifth fastest. Raikonnen spins off the circuit!

Q190 seconds left and everyone is back out.

Q1Now every driver is back in the garage and Alosno is about to go out on track. He's presumably trying to conserve his tyres.

Q1Raikkonen and Hamilton are back in the pit lanes.

Q1Vettel and Webber are the fastest, ahead of Button, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Hamilton. Alonso is still in the garage.

Q1Button, Vettel and Webber are all out now as well.

Q1Q1 is now underway with Raikkonen out on the track.

Q2That's it! Those out are: Massa, Di Resta, Schumacher, Maldonado, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vergne.

Q2Massa has dropped into the drop zone!

Q2Raikkonen saves himself on the final lap, but Maldonado can't!

Q2Time is up and there's a battle on for a place in Q1...

Q2Alonso finds some pace when he needs it and goes third. Schumacher's lap sees him at the bottom. Looks like he's being cut.

Q2Three minutes left and those struggling are: Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Rosberg, Di Resta, Ricciardo, Vergne. Schumacher has yet to post a time.

Q2Alonso is behind his teammate Massa down in 8th. He's not happy and has an issue with the team radio. He'll need to sort that out before Q3, if he gets there!

Q2Vettel is back in the pits having done his job. Red Bull will prep the German for Q3 now.

Q2It looks like this at the moment: Vettel, Button, Webber, Hamilton, Massa, Kobayashi.

Q2Vettel goes 1.31.5 and is the fastest out on the track at the moment.

Q2The home driver posts 1.32.3... so he's a little bit slower than Q1.

Q2Kobayashi, the fastest man in Q1, is on the track.

Q2Q2 is now underway...

6.27pm"What's going to happen to [Vergne]? He'll get a penalty, but that's not going to help me tomorrow. There's few harder places to overtake than here." Bruno Senna tells Sky Sports News.

Q1There looks to have been an incident between Bruno Senna and Jean-Eric Vergne. The frenchman looked to have interfered with Senna's lap.

Q1So at the end of Q1, it's Senna, Kovalainen, Glock, De la Rosa, Pic, Petrov, Kartikeyan who lose out.

Q1Kovalainen is in danger in 18th, but Schumacher needs to pull something out... and he does!. Senna drops into the bottom seven.

Q1... and Kobayashi goes fastest now with 1.32.04. Schumacher is in trouble though, and he is about to complete his lap at the time ticks out...

Q1Perez shows some pace to go 1.32.1.

Q1Raikkonen posts a new fastest time of 1.32.2.

Q1Hulkenberg is just coming through the line now... and he's second fastest.

Q1Petrov and De la Rosa have joined Glock, Pic and Kartikeyan in the drop zone.

Q1Vettel now goes fastest with 1.32.6 and he is back in the pit lanes.

Q1Hamilton and Button are fourth and fifth fastest. They should be safe.

Q1Glock, Pic and Kartikeyan are all in the dreaded drop zone, but they have seven minutes to change that. Vettel, Maldonado, Schumacher and Hulkenberg are yet to post times.

Q1Massa and Webber both go faster than Grosjean in the early throws of qualifying.

Q1Pastore Maldonado looks about ready to come out. He's being prepped, as is Kartikeyan.

Q1... and Raikkonen posts 1.33.5. Grosjean sets the early pace though with 1.33.3.

Q1Paul di Restra is also out in his Force India and he posts 1.33.6.

Q1We're underway now with Kimi Raikkonen out on the track.

6.01amGood morning! Welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix!


Sebastian Vettel
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