Nico Rosberg took his second pole position of the year in a stunted qualifying session on Saturday. The Q3 crash of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat brought out a red flag late in the session spoiling any final attempt for pole from the rest of the field. A single reminder of why that first banker lap is so important in Formula 1.
The Mercedes dip in performance in Singapore seemed to right itself at Suzuka with Nico and teammate Lewis Hamilton just .076s behind. They were followed by a resurgent Williams F1 effort from Valtteri Bottas.
Perhaps the weekend was a little more frustrating for Ferrari who seemed to struggle only managing 4th place on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Both Red Bull’s looked very competitive all weekend long until the Q2 session when Ferrari finally pulled ahead of their pace. It wasn’t until Q2 that we saw the real pace of the Ferrari cars.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.497s||0.913s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||–||–|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||–||–|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.453s||1.869s|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.390s||1.806s|
|18||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–|