Vettel stole Pole from Jenson, Lewis asking himself why Button started to beat me.Sebastian Vettel took his 12th pole position of the season at Suzuka, denying Jenson Button the top spot by just 0.009 seconds. After McLaren and Button had topped all three practice sessions, and Lewis Hamilton led Q2 and the initial Q3 laps, it looked like Red Bull might finally be beaten to a pole for the first time in 2011.
But Hamilton made error and will start third, alongside Felipe Massa, with Fernando Alonso fifth and Mark Webber sixth. Michael Schumacher starts seventh despite making the same mistake as Hamilton, with Bruno Senna eighth, Vitaly Petrov ninth and Kamui Kobayashi tenth even though all four failed to set a time. Their positions were decided by sector times as none of the four completed a lap.
It was a strange end to the session as McLaren had looked quickest and Hamilton emerging in qualifying as the favourite for pole. However, going in to the final chicane Hamilton was swamped by Webber on the inside and Schumacher on the outside, leaving him unable to cross the line in time to set a lap.
P. DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:30.466 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.475 + 0.009 3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.617 + 0.151 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:30.804 + 0.338 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:30.886 + 0.420 6. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:31.156 + 0.690 7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes no time 8. Vitaly Petrov Renault no time 9. Bruno Senna Renault no time 10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari no time Q2 Fastest Time: L.Hamilton 1:31.612 GAP 11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.463 + 1.997 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:32.746 + 2.280 13. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:33.079 + 2.613 14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:33.224 + 2.758 15. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.227 + 2.761 16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.427 + 2.961 17. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari no time Q1 Fastest Time: K.Kobayashi 1:32.626 GAP 18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:35.454 + 4.988 19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:35.514 + 5.048 20. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.439 + 5.973 21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.507 + 6.041 22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:37.846 + 7.380 23. Nico Rosberg Mercedes no time 24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth no time 107% time: 1:39.109