It was a dramatic end in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, after a big crash in the closing stages of the session saw Russian Daniil Kvyat bin his Red Bull machine in the closing stages of Q3. Luckily he was fortunate enough to walk away unhurt.
This left Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg as one of the winners of the session after a Red Flag ended the session early, after he set provisional pole.
His rival teammate Lewis Hamilton was unable to grab pole for two races in a row and even made a mistake locking up on one of his laps. Whether or not his domination is slowly fading for now, is something only time can tell.
The early red flag left the Williams of Valtteri Bottas starting on the second row ahead of the Ferrari’s, which is important for their fight to stay ahead of Red Bull Racing, with Felipe Massa starting just behind him.
It was a good day for the Lotus F1 team after what has been a tough weekend for the Enstone outfit. The team found themselves without a hospitality unit in the paddock and were forced to eat with the paddock club staff, courtesy of Bernie Ecclestone. Romain Grosjean was able to qualify within the top 10 which is a good position to be in to score points this weekend.
The main loser of this session was Daniil Kvyat, although it must be said that he was lucky to have walked away from the big shunt. Kvyat got his Red Bull on the grass and this resulted in a big accident that brought out the red flag, ending the session prematurely.
The crash resulted in Red Bull having to change the chassis of Kvyat’s RB11 for tomorrow’s race, which will see him start from the pit lane.
Unfortunately, Nico Hülkenberg missed out in Q2 and qualified 11th, but a 3-place grid penalty for coming together with Felipe Massa in Singapore will see the German drop down further to P13.
Max Verstappen’s time on track also ended early after he stopped out on the circuit at the hairpin after a loss of electronics. It was a shame he wasn’t able to continue in the session at a track where Toro Rosso have never qualified in the top 10.
Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas