2013 JAPANESE GP: MARK WEBBER CONTINUED RED BULL DOMINANCE

Mark Webber has claimed pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix for Red Bull: his first pole since the Korean Grand Prix last year. Webber claimed his 12th career pole position, ahead of his team mate Sebastian Vettel, who had KERS problems. This result was not only Webber's first pole of 2013, but the first time he had outqualified Vettel all year. Conditions remained dry throughout qualifying with variable 30kph wind.

Mark Webber’s pole position took Renault’s total number of poles in the FIA Formula One World Championship to 209, a new record for the most pole positions held by an engine manufacturer. The previous record of 208 had been set by Ferrari.

At the start of Q1 the frontrunners used mainly hard tyres, and with three minutes to go the session was red-flagged, becouse of overheated rear brakes of Jean-Eric Vergne car and caught little fire. When the session restarted, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean went quickest after his second run on the hard tyres, while many drivers switched to the medium compound. Adrian Sutil, is surpize drop out from first session, and he receives a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox after his FP3 crash. Marussia's Max Chilton produced the best qualifying performance of his F1 career so far to beat the Caterhams and his team-mate Jules Bianchi to 19th place. Both Charles Pic and Bianchi have 10-place grid penalties for Korean GP incidents so should share the back row.

The 16 drivers who went through to Q2 adopted a variety of strategies, with Grosjean and Raikkonen starting the session on the hard tyres. The two Red Bulls went out for just one run with six minutes to go, using the medium tyres, and set first and second fastest times, with Vettel leading Webber. Grosjean claimed third after a final run on the mediums.

The top-10 shoot-out was run mostly on the medium compound, with Vettel heading out first on to the track, followed by Webber and Alonso. Jenson Button’s McLaren was the only car to complete his first Q3 run on the hard tyres. Webber set the opening benchmark on his first run and then improved further on his second run, ensuring an all Red Bull front row for the race.
 P.    DRIVER               TEAM                  TIME       GAP  
 1. Mark Webber           Red Bull              1:30.915                  
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull              1:31.089   + 0.174
 3. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes AMG          1:31.253   + 0.338
 4. Romain Grosjean       Lotus                 1:31.365   + 0.450
 5. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:31.378   + 0.463
 6. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:31.397   + 0.482
 7. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber                1:31.644   + 0.729
 8. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:31.665   + 0.750
 9. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus                 1:31.684   + 0.769
10. Jenson Button         McLaren               1:31.827   + 0.912
  Q2 fastest time: Sebastian Vettel 1:31.290                 Gap  
11. Sergio Perez          McLaren               1:31.989   + 0.699
12. Paul di Resta         Force Indi            1:31.992   + 0.702
13. Valtteri Bottas       Williams              1:32.013   + 0.723
14. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber                1:32.063   + 0.773
15. Pastor Maldonado      Williams              1:32.093   + 0.803
16. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso            1:32.485   + 1.195
  Q1 fastest time: Romain Grosjean 1:31.824                   Gap 
17. Adrian Sutil          Force India           1:32.890   + 1.066
18. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso            1:33.357   + 1.533
19. Max Chilton           Marussia              1:34.320   + 2.496
20. Charles Pic           Caterham              1:34.556   + 2.732
21. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham              1:34.879   + 3.055
22. Jules Bianchi         Marussia              1:34.958   + 3.134
107% Time: 1:38.251