Hamilton Takes First Ever Pole At Suzuka For Japanese GP

Sebastian Vettel sets early pace from Hamilton in Suzuka practice

Seen as a future champion by many within the Ferrari junior driver setup and the Formula 1 paddock, Bianchi had a sparkling personality and he will never be forgotten.

"How we achieve it doesn't matter, as long as we achieve it", said a defiant Vettel, who has won four races this year to Hamilton's seven. The vehicle balance is getting better and better. I wish everyone could feel what we feel.

"I tried everything on that last lap as I knew I had to take a bit more risks", said Vettel.

Should Hamilton convert his pole into another GP victory tomorrow, he will take another giant step towards a fourth driver's championship.

Sergio Perez of Force India is also under investigation for apparently impeding Lance Stroll during Q1.

He said: "The fans are pretty special here - to be out there in the rain, waiting for us to go out through the whole of FP2".

Running got back under way just after the halfway point but lasted just three minutes before race control red-flagged it again following Raikkonen's crash at Degner 2.

There are several other variables that might factor into Ferrari's decision if they want to put a new gearbox on Vettel's auto.

"The auto is insane here, I wish you could feel it".

Hamilton posted a lap record time of 1 minute, 27.319 seconds to finish 0.332 ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

"The results were not the best the last couple of races, but I think we are strong so we have all reason to be confident", said the German, who finished fourth in Malaysia last weekend from the back of the grid. "We were relatively close to Mercedes and Ferrari, so not a bad day. So hopefully at least they got to see something as not many cars went out". In Malaysia it was a little bit better, but we hope we learned our lesson. Otherwise, given the pace we've seen from Hamilton and Mercedes this weekend, the No.44 vehicle could disappear into the distance if he leads into Turn 1.

He had been second to Bottas in the final practice session on Saturday morning and the team had been using the new aero upgrades that were problematic at Sepang but looked to have come into their own on the mix of slow, medium and fast corners of Suzuka. It was an efficient clean-up however by the marshals and the session resumed after a short delay.

Through it all, Vettel and Ferrari seemed serene. Each race is really just about trying to understand more about the vehicle because there is constantly something new coming in the mix that can catch us off guard. "We tried to do a lot of things". "And if I have started on the right foot, I've gone in the wrong direction".

Only 30 laps in total were completed during the session, with further rain only forecast to hit FP3 on Saturday morning and potentially have an impact on qualifying.

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