Hamilton has won his very first Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, and has done so in style after he set a new lap record on this very track with a time of 1m27.319s. This was his 71st pole in F1 and 85th for Mercedes. Bottas made it 1-2 for Mercedes as Vettel qualified third ahead of Ricciardo.
Japanese Grand Prix 2017 Qualifying Results
1 Hamilton 1m27.319s – Mercedes
2 Bottas 1m27.651s – Mercedes
3 Vettel 1m27.791s – Ferrari
4 Ricciardo 1m28.306s – Red Bull
5 Verstappen 1m28.332s – Red Bull
6 Raikkonen 1m28.498s – Ferrari
7 Ocon 1m29.111s – Force India
8 Perez 1m29.260s – Force India
9 Massa 1m29.480s – Williams
10 Alonso 1m30.687s – McLaren
For tomorrow’s race, the following drivers have grid penalties, Bottas (5 places), Raikkonen (5 places) and Alonso (35 places).
Kimi Raikkonen suffered a crash in FP3 that forced him to change the gearbox, a five place grid penalty awaits him tomorrow in the main race. As for Hamilton, the Brit had never won pole at Suzuka, till today, his two Japanese Grand Prix pole wins were all at Fuji Speedway. Also crashing during FP3 was Bottas who set the pace in that session, the team was able to fix his car just in time for qualifying.
First out in Q1 were Hamilton, Ericsson and Wehrlein followed by Vettel and Gasly. Vettel and Hamilton were on softs while the rest of the first runners were on super softs. Hamilton’s 1m29.507s lap put him in first place, Bottas meanwhile went off at the exit near the bridge but the Mercedes driver managed to escape the barriers.
Bottas off again! No damage this time…
Live text commentary & timings 👉 🇯🇵
— Formula 1 (@F1)
Just Hamilton and Vettel were on softs, everyone else was on super softs. Verstappen meanwhile managed to go fastest on 1m29.181s beating Hamilton’s time although both drivers were on different compounds. The world champion responded with a faster time of 1m29.047s.
Grosjean brought out the red flags with 2 minutes remaining in Q1 after hitting the barriers, the nose came off and front left tire was hanging loose. With only 78s left in the session, there was barely enough time for second runs.
Eliminated from Q1 were Grosjean, Gasly, Stroll, Ericsson and Wehrlein.
Raikkonen kicked off Q2 by joining the track first on softs, same as Bottas while Hamilton and Vettel were now on super softs. Hamilton immediately set a 1m27.819s time which became a new lap record at Suzuka, with Vettel coming in behind him.
That's a new Suzuka track record for ! 🇯🇵
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1)
Eliminated in Q2 were Vandoorne, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Palmer and Sainz. The top ten in this session were Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Ocon, Perez, Massa and Alonso. Vandoorne meanwhile will start from P10 tomorrow as Alonso will be serving a penalty.
Hamilton started Q3, followed by the rest of the field except for Alonso. Everyone was on super softs. Bottas initially set the pace on 1m27.986s but Hamilton beat that after his first lap. The top five after the first runs were Hamilton 1m27.345s, Vettel 1m27.797s, Bottas 1m27.986s, Ricciardo 1m28.444s and Verstappen with a 1m28.985s.
Another quick lap for Hamilton, a 1m27.319s which ultimately secured pole for him, as Vettel’s run improved to a 1m27.651s, 0.4s slower than the Brit. This became the first Japanese Grand Prix pole for Hamilton at Suzuka.