Report – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix from the third and fifth rows respectively. At the wheel of their F14 Ts, Fernando was fifth fastest, while Kimi had to settle for tenth, paying the price of lost track time because of technical glitches in Free Practice 3.

Fernando made it through Q1 in a comfortable fifth place, while Kimi had to use a set of Mediums which meant he couldn’t count on them for Q3. Everything went smoothly for both men in Q2 with Fernando fifth again and Kimi ninth. In the final shoot-out, all the drivers except Kimi did two runs on the Medium. Fernando’s first lap was a 1.33.858, which he then improved on, getting down to 1.33.740, to take yet another fifth place. On his only flying lap, Kimi did a 1.34.548.

Final Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.506s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m32.703s 0.197s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m33.128s 0.622s
4 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m33.527s 1.021s
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m33.740s 1.234s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m34.075s 1.569s
7 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m34.242s 1.736s
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m34.317s 1.811s
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m34.432s 1.926s
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m34.542s 2.036s
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1m34.984s
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m35.089s
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m35.092s
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m35.099s
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.364s
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.681s
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m35.984s
18 Marcus Ericsson Caterham/Renault 1m36.813s
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia/Ferrari 1m36.943s
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault 1m37.015s
21 Max Chilton Marussia/Ferrari 1m37.481s
22 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m35.917s


Kimi Raikkonen: “Today’s performance was in line with the whole weekend so far and even if I’ve had a good feeling from the car, I was unable to resolve a few problems already encountered on Friday. In the morning’s free practice, a technical problem meant I had to stop running earlier than planned and that prevented us from testing some new components, which would have been useful for the set-up choice. The team did a great job to get my car ready for qualifying in record time. In the first sector, I had a few balance problems and that stopped me pushing as hard as I wanted. I did my best today and tomorrow we will try and make up some places and have a good race.”

Pat Fry: “Today was particularly tough, starting with the third free practice session, when we had to pit Kimi, having spotted an anomaly on his power unit. Qualifying was reasonably straightforward, especially for Fernando, who finished fifth in all three sessions. The Williams proved to have both good power and aerodynamic downforce, but that won’t stop us trying to attack them. The Red Bull performance was surprising but one cannot discount them at this track. Unfortunately, the problem on Kimi’s car meant we couldn’t optimise the balance on his car, which is so important at this track, but the mechanics did a really amazing job. In just two hours they managed to dismantle and reassemble the car, configuring a new power unit, so that he could take part in qualifying. Tomorrow, a typhoon is forecast and so we will need to adapt to whatever conditions arise, because the result of the race is not a foregone conclusion.”

Marco Mattiacci:

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