F1 Winter Break
Nico Rosberg rockets to Suzuka F1 pole, Lewis Hamilton just 82cm behind
Japanese Grand Prix 2016
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  08 Oct 2016   |  8:20 am GMT  |  121 comments

Nico Rosberg beat his Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix with a last gasp flying lap.

Under heavy grey skies at Suzuka, Hamilton was 0.195 in front of Rosberg after they had completed their first runs in Q3 ahead of the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.

But on their second flying laps in the final part of qualifying, it was Rosberg who blitzed around the 5.8km track in a time of 1m30.647s to claim his eighth pole of 2016 – and the 30th of his F1 career – which left Hamilton 0.013s, or just 82cm over the length of the circuit, adrift.

Nico Rosberg

The German driver, who has topped every single session so far this weekend, started from pole for the Japanese race for the last two seasons but lost out to Hamilton on both occasions.

Speaking after the session, Rosberg said: “Of course [I’m] happy with the result in the end. I was going well the whole weekend, I had a good balance in the car [and] I feel good and comfortable. That’s what allows me to put in a lap like that in the end. [I’m] pleased with that.

“[Tomorrow is about] putting everything together. For sure the start is going to be an important one, definitely tomorrow, and we’ve seen this weekend that it’s not been too easy because its downhill and the grip has been a bit lower than usual.

“It’s going to be an interesting challenge, and from then on I just need to get the tyre life to be able to do long enough stints to get the strategy to work. So it’s [about] putting everything together.”

 Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen qualified third for Ferrari, one spot ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettel, who will drop to seventh as a result of the three-place grid penalty he was given for causing the first corner clash with Rosberg at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo ended the session in fifth and sixth for Red Bull, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.

None of the front-runners have saved a set of new medium tyres for the race, as they lack stability. A two-stop strategy based on soft and hard tyres will be the optimum, which will allow the teams to react to potential safety cars and changes in weather and temperatures to make their choices of tyres and pit stop timings.

Romain Grosjean

Haas F1 got two cars into Q3 for the first time in the team’s history as Romain Grosjean qualified in eighth place – the best result of his season so far – with Esteban Gutierrez 10th behind the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will start 11th and 12th for Williams as they were pushed out by late improvements from the Haas and Force India drivers at the end of Q2.

Daniil Kvyat ended up 13th for Toro Rosso, one spot ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz, who went off at the Spoon Curve after running wide onto the kerbs and spinning into the run off area on his final lap.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso was 15th in the lead McLaren ahead of Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, one week on from the Malaysian Grand Prix where the Briton scored his first ever F1 point.

In Q1, Jenson Button failed to escape the first part of qualifying at Honda’s home track after a flurry of late improvements from other drivers pushed him into the bottom six.

Kevin Magnussen was 18th for Renault ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. Esteban Ocon beat Pascal Wehrlein, who was set to take a five-place grid penalty after changing to a new gearbox, to 21st, as the Manor drivers brought up the rear of the field.

Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying results:

1 Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 1m30.647s
2 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1m30.660s +0.013s
3 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari 1m30.949s +0.302s
4 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari 1m31.028s +0.381s
5 Max Verstappen, Red Bull 1m31.178s +0.531s
6 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull 1m31.240s +0.593s
7 Sergio Perez, Force India 1m31.961s +1.314s
8 Romain Grosjean, Haas 1m31.961s +1.314s
9 Nico Hulkenberg, Force India 1m32.142s +1.495s
10 Esteban Gutierrez, Haas 1m32.547s +1.900s


11 Valtteri Bottas, Williams 1m32.315s +1.668s
12 Felipe Massa, Williams 1m32.380s +1.733s
13 Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso 1m32.623s +1.976s
14 Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso 1m32.685s +2.038s
15 Fernando Alonso, McLaren 1m32.689s +2.042s
16 Jolyon Palmer, Renault 1m32.807s +2.160s


17 Jenson Button, McLaren 1m32.851s +2.204s
18 Kevin Magnussen, Renault 1m33.023s +2.376s
19 Marcus Ericsson, Sauber 1m33.222s +2.575s
20 Felipe Nasr, Sauber 1m33.332s +2.685s
21 Esteban Ocon, Manor 1m33.353s +2.706s
22 Pascal Wehrlein, Manor 1m33.561s +2.914s

What did you make of qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Good job Nico, got the lap in when it mattered, he has been getting better of Hamilton all weekend so far.

And Now,

P4 VET----> probably most successful driver on the current grid on this race track
P5 VES-----> next Senna or Schumacher or whatever
P6 RIC-----> Future WDC
P3 RAI-----> "Driver who has past it" beats them all (in 3rd best car)......looool 😀 😀

Great Lap Kimi, but the start tomorrow will be the key. Hopefully he will be able to keep his nose ahead of RBRs & Ferrari for once don't mess up strategy.
Might be the most interesting run down the first corner with MERC,FERRARI,RBR all at it. I just got a feeling someone's race is gonna be badly affected there.


Kimi beats the Red Dog into 3rd. Not bad for a has been. GO KIMI!


Kimi is a great measuring stick against Vettel. He looks absolutely even, Vettel needs to pick up his game.


Gosh 82 cm Come onLewis 👍
Expect Vettel to take out Kimi and
Lewis to get a rocket start.
Or Rosbrrg to take out Lewis and blame his steering or take out 3 cars in the first corner doing a Prost. He can afford to.
Have to say Kimi is making Vettel look average. Can see Vettel out of Ferrari after 2017.


Doing a Prost? Do you mean Senna, shumi perhaps? No offence intended. Marc


So you are taking the objective view. Wow!!! What an odd posr


Nico Rosberg needs a DNF. Everything has gone too easily for him this year. There's a brigade of fans out there (of which I am one) who doesn't believe he deserves this Championship because of the reliability discrepancy between him and Hamiltion. It's really onesided in favor of Rosberg. I won't take everything away from him. He has done a good job but, it's not as clear cut as people might think! He's been a very lucky man this year!


Would you agree then kimi deserved 05 championship? He had more blowouts than your man Lewis that year while leading from the front being sent back in qualifying and what not...no one really complains...Hamilton would not be in this position if he hadn't got his starts sorted during first 4 grand prix when he sat on pole and lost the lead...at the end whoever wins deserves it


As much as I'm a fan of Lewis and can't stand Nico, if I were to be objective, as we all should, you can't really take the WDC away from Nico, if he, and it looks like he probably will, even though I hope he does not, wins it. Reliability is a part of the championship, just as is driver skill, team skill, etc. The championship does NOT alone reward driver skill. That's the important thing to remember. If you were to think he does not deserve the championship, you'd have do the same for every year and apply the same rationale to all the drivers of past seasons.

Another reason you can't say that someone else deserved the championship is because you don't know what would have happened had that car stayed in the race. What if that car which had did a DNF had actually later then crashed into another car which gave the non-deserving WDC an even better spot in the championship? Let's say Hamilton did not experience those (or some of those) failures. We can't say with certainty that Rosberg would have had the exact same race. It's entirely possible that had events played out differently in the race, Rosberg still would have come out on top.

This is racing. Since the dawn of racing, it has been about more than just driver skill. Reliability has ALWAYS been a part of any driving championship. I will never understand people who will try to explain away a championship by eliminating one of the MAJOR factors in a championship.


The same could be said of Rossberg in 2014. Those two guys are just so close.


It's Lewis Hamilton who needs a DNF. F1 deserves a better champion than some child who cries or sulks when he loses and plays with Snapchat during a press briefing. He is bringing F1 to the level of WWE or keeping up with the Khardashians


I am not hamilton's biggest fan...but I dont really condemn him for posting pictures on snapchat...common these journalists take themselves too seriously...all the bad press kimi has got over the years is because he doesn't dance to their tunes...so let them have it. I like the fact hamilton did not give them any interview. Now brundle is suggesting vettel isn't motivated enough another blank space filling article just like that herbert guy was suggesting alonso should retire. Most of the media people have no sense have big egos just like the drivers...there are hardly any objectivity in media opinion nowadays.
anyway lewis doesn't need media to convey his message to fans...and its quite right. A lot of them mix garbage words for sensationalism. This is quite evident nowadays. So


Well there's plenty of objectivity on this site!


James I don't include you in that list...I think you are one of the best sports journalist ever...not just in F1...to be honest you do a lot more to keep f1 popular with your site than whatever is being published by the likes of sky




No driver 'needs' a DNF and nor do genuine F1 fans who would prefer to see them race each other. Also, aren't you forgetting Hamilton's dodgy starts at the beginning of the season? Some of this is self-inflicted.


We already went over the bad starts from both. It's cost Lewis 37 pts and Nico 34 pts. So pretty much even.

If we take away the 4 races where Lewis had reliability, or an engine penalty, you can see how far he'd be ahead. The 4 races are CHN, RUS, BEL, and MAL. Nico scored 90 pts in those races, and Lewis scored 39 pts. So a 51 pt advantage for Nico.


You mean senna? it was senna who took Prost of in the first corner at suzuka..


Can he really afford to? It'd be better for him to be on the inside then.

Still no pole for Lewis at Suzuka. He would've taken the outright lead in terms of poles at most tracks, if he got it. Maybe should've triggered some yellows?? 😉

I heard earlier in the week that it was going to be wet for both quali and the race, but now it looks as though it'll be clear for both.


Vettel's starting 7th. I'd be more worried about Max if I was Kimi.


Romain Grosjean - where did THAT performance come from???? That has to be one of the best qualifying performances of the year! A truly mega lap. Of course, 53 odd laps around Suzuka is a different matter, but I do recall a few years the Franco-Swiss leading confidently and expertly a few years ago in Japan - it's a track that obviously suits his technique.

Kimi Raikkonen has not outqualified Sebastian Vettel on all the fast corner circuits so far of Barcelona, Silverstone, Spa and now Suzuka, so like his old team-mate Grosjean, his mastery of the fast corner technique on these 2016 spec Pirelli's is superior to his team-mate. As for tomorrow, it's a long old race, and it is worth pointing out that he who qualifies on pole at Suzuka does not always lead into the first corner - 2015, 2013, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1993, 1990, 1989, 1988...........


Wow! US is setting records. I think George Forman Grille Infomercial had higher ratings in US that night.

Formula 1 racing from Malaysia had 231,000 viewers on NBCSN in the overnight hours Sunday morning, down 40% from last year (384K) and down 7% from 2014 (248K), when the race took place in March. Of the 14 races this season that can be compared to last year, it was the ninth to post a decline.


The problem with time zones is that you can't please everyone. The Japanese GP (time zone) may suit Alan Jones sat down with a tinnie of lager in his Brisbane penthouse, but it won't suit Nigel Mansell sat down with his moustache in his Florida-Deep South home in the early hours, or Emerson Fittipaldi in his palatial Sau Paulo. Likewise, a race in the New World suits Nige and Emmo fine, but Jonsey finds it annoying to get up in the early hours.

To please Jonsey you have to compromise Emmo - or vice versa. That's the thing with time zones - what suits Mr Jones in Australia doesn't suit Mr Fittipaldi in the Americas!


It was on same time last year, wasn't it? Simply 40% have decided it's not worth putting in the effort to watch it. Plus football is back.


Yes, that seems a touch strange for the US F1 Team the weekend before COTA. How are ticket sales at COTA?


What happened to Mclaren?
Honda new engine ?
What was it the flint not sparking the & no flash in the pan?
Yep Grosjean did great.
Can see a Safety car early in the race. May even be after the first lap.
Best of British to LH.
Go get him Lewis.
Watch out for KR MV fireworks.


It's the car, not the power package. See Button's comments after qualifying. He claims that long duration, medium speed corners are not a strong area for them right now. Hard to blame that on Honda.


Nothing special from grosjean, the Haas car has been fast all the way through, Gutierrez finished ahead of grosjean in Q2 and set a faster lap than RG did in Q3.... The car just has better performance at Suzuka today than the Merc powered Williams and FI cars that are normally close, but ahead


Razor edge at Suzuka. If it is wet I put money on Lewis to win, for some reason Nico has been really allergic to wet races this year. If it is dry, it will be really interesting since there is not much difference between the two Mercedes drivers and team strategy and the need to seal the WCC tomorrow will come to influence the result, in that case Nico will have the advantage, although I suspect Lewis will make it difficult. Of course one of the two driver may end up with the start problem and change the entire season dynamic. We could also be in luck and see a great battle between Max and Kimi tomorrow.


It will basically come down to the start and how flexible Merc is willing to be on strategy given they stand to win the Constructors Championship this weekend.

If Singapore Lewis shows up tomorrow morning and gets passed Kimi and the Redbulls again he will have a pretty uphill battle as the Redbulls especially have been quick this weekend. If he can't keep P2 at the start Nico should be able to build a pretty nice gap that could pretty much only be upended by an aggressive strategy if Merc will allow it.


I expect Mercedes to make normal starts tomorrow, which mean Lewis will be behind Nico for the first stint. The real fireworks should start when Lewis and Nico switch to the hard compound. Lewis has been more comfortable on the hard tire compared to Nico so that middle stint is when I expect him to attack Nico for the lead. I also think the Ferrari and Red Bull know that the Mercedes (even on a "conservative" engine setting) are faster on hard tires so they are going to take advantage of the soft tire stint and push Mercedes at the start like they did in Malaysia. If Lewis does not get off the line in P2 then his season will be over as far as the WDC is concerned and he will most likely work for the WCC crown for the team to show he is still the team player. At that point his race will be to keep Red Bull and Ferrari in 3rd and 4th.


If it's wet then put a few $$$ on ricciardo for a step on the podium. He is mega in the wet.


So is Red Bull car


Not bad, Rosberg. Doing all he can, was faster all weekend. I seriously think that Hamilton should grow up...better focus on racing instead of drawing rabbit ears:-) He seems to be happy this way, though


@ shalan and biffa bacon. I think most fans would agree that Lewis behaves childishly. as I have said in previous posts he is bringing F1 to the level of WWE or keeping up with the Khardashians. there is always controversy with him. notice the behaviour of the drivers when he is not on the podium. They laugh they talk they joke. there is light heartedness. comradary.


Good point. Lewis could have easily made up that time had he had a "better focus on racing instead of drawing rabbit ears" during the ever important Thursday Drivers' Press Conference.


That twitt he sent could have easily save him at least 0,015 sec:-)


Seems a bit of a non-sequitur to me. I'm not aware of any research being done into rabbit ears vs qualifying time.

Correlation does not imply causation.


Alex D Grow up?
I suppose you are a Tibetan Monk by comparison.
It was a narrow margin and he is on the front row. I guess that's not good enough ? We will see what happens on Sunday when Rosbrrg tries his dodgy steering excuse.


Not that Lewis has not got away from a penalty at least once this season having the same excuse/problem. I don't care much for one or the other, but i am always happy to see a close race at the front. I know Lewis got more bad luck with year, but doen't it make the season more worth watching? It is bad enough that the title was pretty much always between two drivers from the get go, at least there is something to look forward to as it stands. At least that is my take on the subject. Given a good race l would not mind either Mercedes drivers winning it tomorrow, while wishing to see someone else taking the top honors. My favorite probably won't so l look at an entertaining race before all. But that is just me. Marc


Don't think he will have to, P1 has a huge grip advantage at the start, if this race goes anything like Italy or Singapore Hamilton will be fighting with Vettel coming out of T1 (if he's lucky).


Well Nico did trounce him all weekend so your theory is flawed. But ham fans.... Well it's to be expected"


A 0.013 gap is getting trounced to you? Good to know you're keeping up your usual standards.


What a thriller, and tomorrow will certainly be even more thrilling.

Putting my money behind Rosberg who's momentum this weekend has been impressive.


Great performances from both Mercedes drivers with nothing in it between them and yes job well done by Rosberg after topping all sessions this weekend

Likewise, Ferrari pulled it out of the bag with P3 and P4 because with Suzuka being a Red Bull track we didn't expect this

All the same decent work from Max in P5 and with trick first corner, things could get hectic on the first lap

Consistent work from Perez in P7 but the star of qualifying has to be Haas team with both cars making it to Q3 beating the likes of Williams and Mclaren

Devils Advocate

Should be a great race tomorrow.
A bit of rain would do great for the race.

Get in there Lewis


Lewis was 82cm behind. He was doing his time on a faster track because he drove after Nico. So he would have need 6cm in front. So we talk about 89cm. That is nearly a metre. And a metre in F1 is miles away...


No it's not. 83cm is very small gap.


Leaving aside the weird logic, your calculator is clearly broken 🙂


Great Lap by Kimi and by Seb as well. Surprised to see RBR behind Ferrari on pace. Seb's penalty means Kimi's favourite person will be along the Iceman on the 2nd row-[Mod] Max.


Wow, that was close! Good job from Nico, and Max beats Dan and Kimi beats Seb! A good day for the underdogs....


Looking forward to a great race tomorrow.
A couple of showers would help as well.
Typical shot of Chuckles on the qualifying podium😂


Lets see the weather but I hope the Mclarens have went with extreme weather setup. Maybe Danny Ric and Lewis have done the same.

Alonso would have put Kimi's car on put today.


That is straying very much into the realms of supposition! That's like saying if Jim Callaghan had called a general election in October 1978 then Labour would have won...............but he didn't!


Teams dont do wet set ups anymore.
Alonso couldnt even put his own Ferrari on pole let alone "Kimis" Ferrari. Given that Hamilton and Vettel known as the best qualifiers in F1 couldnt do it in either car.. & Kimi was faster than 1 of them.How could Alonso who has told everyone "I might not be the best at qualifying..."

I suppose your entitled to fantasize


Alonso would've been on pole?!?! Uh, ok. Alonso barely beat Button today!


And on the topic of McLaren, what a dire performance. They are the only team that consistently big themselves up. I think it was Eric B and Jenson who were saying a few weeks ago they will be battling Ferrari in the last 6 races. Seriously what are these guys smoking?

What's the point bigging yourself up when there's no guarantee of delivering on the claims. They just look silly.

And I thought their chassis is supposed to be top notch. Yet Button was saying the car isn't suited to the corners at Suzuka. Why doesn't it suit the corners at Suzuka? Other cars on the grid seem to manage.

To be fair to Alonso he seems to be the most grounded and realistic on their current situation.


It's been a particular McLaren "disease" for years. They should just shut up, then gloat AFTER they're the best team.


on pole today


'Alonso would have put Kimi's car on put today.'



To keep his championship hopes alive, Hamilton needs to repeat the last 2 years by converting P2 into a win. Interesting read i saw tweeted on James Allen's twitter page how Hamilton has potentially lost 50+ points due to car problems and bad luck


and how many points has Lewis cost rosberg by driving dirty crashing him out of Spain and pushing him wide


Please name an instance where he was investigated for driving dirty with Nico? Nico was penalized in Austria, and blamed for Spa '14.

If you can't, perhaps you should ask yourself why that is.


Kawawa nalang Lewis. To use a Philippino expression. Not the first time someone get the wrong end of the stick. Marc


That was written by Daniel Johnson for whom St Lewis can do no wrong.
Following your logic it could be argued that Nico was denied a WDC in 2014 due to mechanical failure. No-one seems to mention Lewis' bad starts early in the season either. They appear to remain unexplained so maybe it was just driver error. It happens, even with the best drivers.


I'm not sure there's any way it can be argued Nico was denied a title in 2014 due to mechanical failures when accounting for both cars' issues (as well as Nico driving into Lewis and taking him out of a race while he was leading).


How could it be argued for 2014??? When Nico's ERS went in Abu Dhabi he was already behind Lewis. Even Lewis coming 2nd in that race would guarantee him the title.

Lewis had 3 DNF's, while Nico had 2 DNF's and 1 no-score because of reliability. It was even there, though I'm still leaving out Hamilton’s reliability issues in GER and HUN qualifying that season.

If in these last 5 races Nico has a DNF, and then can't run in a Q1 and then a Q3, and then has to start anothet race at the back to take an engine penalty, do you think he'd have a chance at winning the title? You actually probably do.


And yet, some here will still say Nico is not a deserving champion. I am not a fan of his. However, let's give credit where it's due. The man has out qualified Hamilton quite a few times this year. In the other hand, Pole doesn't necessarily mean win here. Good luck to everyone on Sunday. Let's hope for an spectacular race.


Well done Nico - brilliantly consistent all week-end so far on a difficult track. Excellent qualifying from Haas as well, where did that come from?! Looking forward to hopefully a great race, but whatever the result I would really like to see Kimi on the podium - if anyone has earned it he has! Fingers crossed that there are no 'mysterious' mechanical failures to bring the conspiracy theorists out in force again!


Another zzZzZz race expected tomorrow if it is not raining.


maybe not


I wonder what it takes for you to get excited about a race? Things look up for grab if you ask me. Marc


Don't watch then ...


👍Best of British Lewis👍


So close. Good one that was. The start is going to be very interesting and hopefully nobody ends up in tears. I am still hoping for mix conditions during the race to spice it up even more. Should Nico wins that one, it will start to look like the WDC is in the bag, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. It is a long race and anything can happen. Marc


Mercedes boys expect contact.
Hamilton to get past Rosberg by 2 laps. If it's wet then Lewis for victory as Robert hates rain.
I really could both Mercedes end up in the gravel ?
Kimi vs Max oh dear ! Expect contact.
Ricciardo vs Max and Vettel ! Expect mega contact.
Perez vs Vettel ! Definitely expect contact.
Expect Carnage Start .
Kick Ass Lewis get past the Monaco Germ'an .


Do you need help with writing?


Wanna be american carribean british monaco lewis


Funny. Marc


Some sublime perfomances today, particularly from the Haas driver's, very impressive. A quietly good quali for Ferrari too, but a shame Vettel will drop 3 places. Nico, very worthy polesitter, mega lap.


Tomorrows discussion after the race would be around how many moves VES made getting to the first corner.

Furthermore @putte, HAM was faster last weekend and 16 laps to go his engine blew. Maybe it is time for Nicos engine to blow up spectacularly this time around. Anyway, it is too early to call it since the fat lady hasn't even started singing 😉 On this subject, I hope she sings in the rain tomorrow.

Again, good luck to all tomorrow and hope that we see another great race at Suzuka.


Good luck to all but Nico of course as l read your post. Marc

Devils Advocate

Can't hide it @Cometef1. Not much of a Nico fan since the day he threw the cap at Hamilton. Still think he is not champion material and the only reason he wins now is because of the car that HAM developed with his engineers, then was handed it to Nico with almost the whole Victorious Garage. I might add that this is from someone that thought Nico was a great person in the past and have even taken a picture with him in front of his garage at the Circuit in Bahrain when he was still with Williams


London Accent....
"Go on My Son You Can Do It Lewis!!!!"
Safe GP for all drivers and Bianchi R.I.P.
Ps Rosberg no shunting drivers off the circuit on the first turn!


BK Flamer,
Why not? Lewis does it.


Wow McLaren Honda. 2017 podiums? Maybe in my V10 dreams?


Yeah. Interesting that most people expect Mclaren to be ahead of Ferrari as 3rd best team next year. I wonder the design documents of all teams have been leaked ?


That's a good one.

You know 2017 is a 10th year anniversary of 100M fine against McLaren. 🙂


After that qualy the first thing I thought was that James might have to step over a dummy or two. Well it looks like I was correct. James work load just got a little lighter.


Seriously though, who puts F1 quali and Bathurst 1000 top ten shootout on at the same time?


Anthony Davidson SkyF1.
"Wow I've never seen anything like that before 82 cm there was nothing in it . Matching corner for corner Both deserved pole.Unbelievable ".
Come on Hammer🔨 time 💪 .
Mercedes must be pensive as they want the constructors championship too.


European Grand Prix 1997 qualifying
1st: 1.21.072
2nd: 1.21.072
3rd: 1.21.072
The same race the WDC leader went too fast in a curve and was lucky that someone drove in his car and lost several places.
And not if that wouldn't be enough - in 2014 it was revealed that two british teams had a secret alliance to fight an italian team with all means, legal and illegal.
1997 in Jerez


2000, Schumaher and the Mika. 9 inches was the difference.


Davidson ...Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis. Rosburg Rosburg Rosburg Rosburg. Why is he and the British Jornos so biased. At least call them both first or last names. We are not all British guys. Have some respect.


Got to agree with you mate. Even some brits find sky f1 quite revulsive


David, are you complaining that most of the noise seems to be about the two WDC front-runners with five races left to go and less than a win separating them?

Curse those British journos! Why aren't they discussing what Ocon has for breakfast???


Davidson says he will, but only if you learn how to spell Rosberg. Show some respect! 😃


Who is Robert?


Robert Rosburg of course.



If Nico can win tomorrow the title is his..but will he bottle it under pressure?..it he would win tomorrow,the last 4 races will be great to watch..if Lewis gets ahead at the start,see Nico turning in on him.. if it's wet,Nico will be lucky to finish 3rd..


Maybe not. Rossberg could get a DNF. One DNF is the difference now. Mercedes looks to use a lot of oil to me.


I might go further and say that if Hamilton DOESN'T win then the WDC is Rosberg's.

That would be a travesty of course.


Nico getting the job done. However the start will be where it's won unless the rain comes. The start is normally quite chaotic at Suzuka with the corners tightening up sharply and with MV in 4th the chances of contact are high. Hopefully he keeps himself in line.

Raikkonen continues to impress, maybe he should lead the team in 2017.


Are you trying to provoke the Vettelista's?

Kimi is liking the car, that much is clear. Not sure if that's the fastest that car can go.


Welk, this could be entertaining. I'm hoping to see Kimi drive as brilliant as ever at Suzuka. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that he wins tomorrow, as Lewis and Nico are going to crash.

Not too worried about Max on p4. To quote Niki Lauda last month: "He's the best driver out there. Nobody is as quick as him. He's perfect."


I swear I can't understand Mclaren. They go around talking about having the 3rd best chassis and the 4th best package. Are you kidding me? Even Renault were faster today. That's with their new parts and engine. Absolutely pathetic. And how can they have the 3rd best chassis if toro rosso can out qualify them on several tracks with a year old Ferrari engine?


Last race I thought Alonso's performance reflected that MCLAren improved. This race they are again back in bottom rung. Why such a big change? Strange.


I just watched Nicos pole lap and in was not a very a clean lap - he really had to work for it. Car was sliding like crazy and understeering just like many others.

Could be an interesting race with Mercedes struggling to manage the softs in the opening laps. I hope Kimi and the Bulls can attack them off the line.


Fantastic drive by the world champion elect. Nico dominated all 3 FP and all 3 Quali sessions never finishing behind Hamilton. This guy is class and in a league of his own. Go Nico. The title is waiting for you.


And yet he is in pole. If your believed Hamilton was on pole it would be something like "magnificent lap by Lewis. Flawless lap to dominate qualifying"


@David - dont get your knickers in a twist, Nico did a great job because he worked so hard for it , I was just saying its messy - unlike his best ever quali lap in singapore -Hamilton is not my "beloved" especially after his latest antics but hes still the fastest racer in F1 and were it not for his mech provs this year it would already be title no4 ,


I guess McHonda aren't going to be there in Japan. Not good.
Verstappen, after being as gracious as he has ever been, racing Ric, is somehow up in quali, Ric doesn't understand the deficit.
Hamilton loses out to Rosberg, is seems weird.
The entire enterprise is illusion, created to maximize return on investment.
Even Kimi beating Vettel is a little suspicious, after the Arrivabene comments this week (but then again, this result is on trend).
I'm a little surprised by the McHonda poor showing.

Rain could change the complexion of the race, in which scenario, RB has the slight advantage over Merc, and Ferrari are well back.

I'm hoping for a quick No. 7 getaway, past bogged-down Mercs, and mass confusion (and contusion) behind him amongst the RBs and Mercs.
(never be afraid to dream).


The Red Bulls have the Renault motor and aren't doing poorly. Renault have the same(?) motor and... . The aerodynamics of the Red Bull must be amazing, maybe illegal(?).

I keep reading about who deserves to win. Deserves has nothing to do with it and often it hasn't. Who wins is what matters. Many drivers' championships were won by the 'not-best-driver.' Only two drivers can win the WDC. Maybe 3 or 4 other drivers behind these two are better than both but without a hope in hell. Where's the deserve there?

Lewis and bad luck: Is it all a matter of luck? Does his style abuse the motor more? Does he turn up the 'volume' more often? Can the driver control that? Even Horner hinted at it last week.

Gros Jean seems to have all the brake problems at Hass. Is it luck or is it how he drives? Probably amazing bad luck.


Hell of the start of KR. I have to say the first sector of his fastest lap was on the edge. Sharp and fast!!! Old school track and KR 🙂


My guess is Rosberg will lose it all tomorrow, probably from the start - and his championship challenge will crumble. Anyone agree?


kimi did an amazing lap...anyone who thinks he's past it...should have a rethink! now he has the car that he likes and he's showing the results just like in his lotus days..I hope ferrari makes a good car next season...I hope he can get a good start tomorrow get between the mercs and ferrari give him a strategy to snatch a win against the racy mercs...its high time now..that kimi get a win in his f1 return with ferrari



Strangely, there was no question's from the floor in todays post qualifying press conference . was there a boycott or something of that sort ?


No I think it was pretty self explanatory!

Was a bit odd though


 Mercedes has concentrated on making the WO7 car faster this year, but in so doing it has compromised Hamiltons braking advantages. This is never mentioned by journalist and commentators, whom are solely bent on selling us entertainment when there really isn't any.
A true F1 fan would agree that this is probably the worst season since the MS era, even Vettel's RB dominance was entertaining because Alonso, Hamilton, Button,Weber were also in the mix, bar the last 9 races of 2013.
The point I want to make is, the way the Mercedes W07 is currently configured does not allow Hamilton the full advantage of his ability to brake later and harder than Rosberg,  It means his front tyre doesn’t load up as quickly into a corner and locks more readily as he's tried to brake where he felt he naturally could. Knowingly or unknowingly, the current development direction at Mercedes this year has favoured Rosberg.


Professional racing is A BUSINESS. The JOB of a racer is to score CONSTRUCTOR points for the TEAM. If Hamilton cannot play by these rules then he needs to quit.


Nicos & Kimis qualifying laps. Quite a contrast to what we normally see. Maybe Nico pushing a little harder than he normally does- with the PU s down from their highest quali setting as Wolffe advised



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