Alonso…No…Kimi….Wait, It’s Hamilton On Pole!

fuji-gp-qualifying.JPGIt was like snatching away candy from a child as McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton wrenched off the pole position for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix from teammate Fernando Alonso…right at the end of the qualifying session! For almost 44 minutes and 50 seconds of the alloted 45 minutes of Qualifying session (across three quarters) it was Alonso who had the fastest time and the pole position but right at the end, in fact after the chequered flag was waved, Hamilton banged in a quicker lap to take the pole away from the spaniard. Alonso’s time had looked vulnerable even before Hamilton had started his final run as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen drove an impeccable last-gasp flying lap and was quicker than Alonso in the first two sectors but lost time in the final sector and had to be content with P2 – which became P3 after Lewis’ own last-gasp efforts. The entire qualifying session was completed under steady rain and that effectively put paid to the hopes that Ferrari would emerge tops coz the McLarens were oh-so-good in wet weather trim. Rains are also forecast for tomorrow’s race and given Alonso and Kimi’s experience in such conditions, it remains to be seen whether Hamilton can cling onto the lead. I expect a keen tussle going into the first corner and won’t be surprised if in the melee between Hamilton and Alonso, Kimi steals a march over them :mrgreen:

It was yet again the BMWs which were best-of-the-rest with Nick Heidfeld taking 5th spot behind Felipe Massa. Williams’ Nico Rosberg qualified 6th but will drop to 16th as a result of an engine change. This elevates Jenson Button – in Honda’s best qualifying result this year – to 6th position with Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel (Surprise!), Robert Kubica and Giancarlo Fisichella completing the top ten. Toyota had an abysmal qualifying session on their home track with Jarno Trulli only managing 13th and Ralf Schumacher in 15th after a crash with Sakon Yamamoto in Q2. Most teams were caught out by the rain and it would be intriguing to see what set-up they will use for tomorrow’s race. In any case, the four-way-lead-battle will be the centre of attraction for everyone for the outcome of this race would eventually decide who emerges with a clearcut advantage to win the drivers’ title. Make-or-break for Lewis, Alonso and Kimi!!! Expect a cracker of a race…

Qualifying Reports: | | BBC Sport

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