Japanese Grand Prix Qualifiers: Lewis Hamilton on Pole in wet session 

Written by David on September 29th, 2007 at 1:52 pmLast Update: September 29th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Lewis Hamilton Fastest on Fuji Free Practice SessionLewis Hamilton secured his Fuji pole today on a wet but drying track by putting in his fastest lap just ahead of the checkered flag. His timing was simply better than his competitors. Fernando Alonso is second after leading the complete 3rd session. Raikkonen follows with Massa aside of him.

The drivers experienced a very wet day at Fuji and all came out to drive with the wet weather tyres. Ahead of the qualifying though, Rosberg already had an engine change and will receive a ten place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race.

Q1 wasn’t really a surprise to anyone as basically the expected drivers struggled to keep up the pace. As a result, Barrichello, Wurz, Davidson, Sutil, Sato and Yamamoto were out after the first 15 minutes. As Q2 started there was a lot of action on track. Several drivers made this a testing session to adapt better to the changing conditions. It immediately emerged that several drivers and teams were struggling with their cars, especially both Toyotas and the Renaults who continuously turned laps but never during the session came in a position to go through to Q3.

While Hamilton comes out on top just ahead of Alonso, both Ferrari are in 3rd and 4th place. Jenson Button amazes with a 5th place while his teammate cannot improve on the 14th time. Sebastian Vettel is another surprise as he moves through with a 10th time compared to the immediate knockout for Liuzzi.

Q3 is about the same story with both McLarens and Vettel immediately on track. All three were already waiting at the end of the pitlane for the session to start. The other cars all followed shortly. The rainfall meanwhile dropped off and allows the drivers to try out intermediate tyres. The final laps proved a tense battle, initially between Alonso and Raikkonen. Fernando came out ahead of both Ferraris but was beaten by his teammate one minute later. Hamilton could profit from the moment as the track was slowly drying through the session. With a margin as small as 0.010 seconds between the McLaren drivers it promises to be an exciting battle in the light of the championship.

Belgian GP Final Qualifier Standings:

  1. L. Hamilton (McLaren) 1’25”368
  2. F. Alonso (McLaren) 1’25”438
  3. K. Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1’25”516
  4. F. Massa (Ferrari) 1’25”765
  5. N. Heidfeld (BMW) 1’26”505
  6. N. Rosberg* (Williams) 1’26”728
  7. J. Button (Honda) 1’26”913
  8. M. Webber (Red Bull) 1’26”914
  9. S. Vettel (Toro Rosso) 1’26”973
  10. R. Kubica (BMW) 1’27”225

* N. Rosberg will start from 16th position due to engine change

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