2012 JAPANESE GP: RED BULL GOT EASY FRONT ROW

Sebastian Vettel took pole position at Suzuka for the fourth straight year with a commanding performance in Japanese Grand Prix qualifying.Mark Webber was second quickest ahead of Jenson Button and Kamui Kobayashi as a spin for Kimi Raikkonen ruined the final runs for many of the top ten in Q3. Romain Grosjean was fifth quickest ahead of Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso, with Lewis Hamilton the biggest loser as the yellow flags from Raikkonen's spin left him in ninth place.

Home hero Kamui Kobayashi will start third. He was fourth fastest for Sauber, but will gain a place when third-placed Jenson Button is given his gearbox change penalty. Hamilton had not set a competitive time on his first run and was then unable to do so on his second due to yellow flags, with only Nico Hulkenberg behind him in Q3. That means when Button takes a grid penalty he will still line up ahead of his team-mate in eighth place.

Mercedes AMG had been centre of attention in the week but its on-track performance was an anti-climax after Michael Schumacher's retirement announcement. Michael Schumacher done one late lap to go 13th and his impending grid penalty relegating him to 23rd, while Nico Rosberg dropped out in 15th place ahead of the two Toro Rossos.
Pos      Driver              Team          Time       Gap   
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull       1:30.839
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull       1:31.090  + 0.251
 3.  Jenson Button         McLaren        1:31.294  + 0.451
 4.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber         1:31.700  + 0.861
 5.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus          1:31.989  + 1.059
 6.  Sergio Perez          Sauber         1:32.022  + 1.183
 7.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari        1:32.114  + 1.275
 8.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus          1:32.208  + 1.369
 9.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren        1:32.327  + 1.488
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India     no time
Q2 Fastest time: S.Vettel 1:31.501                                   
11.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari        1:32.293  + 0.792
12.  Paul di Resta         Force India    1:32.327  + 0.826
13.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes AMG   1:32.469  + 0.968
14.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams       1:32.512  + 1.011
15.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes AMG   1:32.625  + 1.124
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso     1:32.954  + 1.453
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso     1:33.368  + 1.867
Q1 Fastest time: R.Grosjean 1:32.029                                    
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams       1:33.405  + 1.376
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham       1:34.657  + 2.628
20.  Timo Glock            Marussia       1:35.213  + 3.184
21.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT            1:35.385  + 3.356
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia       1:35.429  + 3.400
23.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham       1:35.432  + 3.403
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT            1:36.734  + 4.705
107% time: 1:38.471