Mercedes did what they have done all season in Formula One – lock-up the front row – as Nico Rosberg took pole position ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the Japanese Grand Prix.
It looks like being another Mercedes dominated race at Suzuka, with both Rosberg and Hamilton looking a lot better than the rest. Rosberg finished with a time of 1:32.506 in Q3, as Hamilton, with his last lap, just could not catch up with his fellow Mercedes driver, eventually settling for second place on the grid courtesy a 1:32.703 fast lap.
"I just felt very comfortable in the car, I had a good balance," said Rosberg. "Our car is just unbelievable out there.
"That was one of the best qualifying sessions we did this year. The team did an incredible job to give me a brilliant car. The balance was perfect, so I was able to push a lot and go to the limits in the corners.
"It's always a great battle against Lewis -- we push each other very much through the sessions. Sometimes he finds a tenth there, then I find a tenth here. That's why I enjoy the situation so much."
Hamilton admitted that Rosberg had just been the quickest on the day, and there was little he could do to better the German's time.
"Nico did a great job, he looked very quick, but I don't feel like I've quite had the pace all weekend," admitted Hamilton on Saturday. "I'm still second and we've seen races where we've come back from further than that, so I'm excited for tomorrow."
Rain is a big threat for the drivers on Sunday, with the Japanese Grand Prix quite possibly set to become a wet weather race. Rosberg and Hamilton, though, will not be too bothered, knowing full well their car has the capabilities to overcome tricky weather conditions.
"For tomorrow I think we are well prepared," added Rosberg o Saturday. "Even in the wet our car is very quick as we have seen in Spa this year. So I am definitely looking forward to the race here in Japan."
"I've heard there's some rain coming, it's going to make it very hard but it makes it more of a lottery," added Hamilton.
Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will start in the second row after qualifying third and fourth respectively, with Fernando Alonso starting fifth, followed by Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen.
Magnussen's McLaren teammate Jenson Button will begin in eighth, with Sebastian Vettel, on the day after his exit announcement, disappointing a little with ninth. Vettel will be joined in row 5 by his soon-to-be teammate Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.
Force India's Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished 12th and 14th respectively in qualifying, but will start 11th and 13th after Jean-Eric Vergne was given a grid penalty for an engine change.
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The race is scheduled for a 3 pm local time (11.30 am IST, 7 am BST, 2 am ET) start with Live coverage in India on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. Viewers in India and Asia can also watch the qualifying session via live streaming online on Racematelive orStarsports.com.
UK viewers can catch the Japanese GP on Sky Sports F1 or via a Live Stream on Sky Sports Online or Sky Go. US viewers watch the race live online or on NBC Sports. Bein Sports will provide live coverage in the Middle East and North Africa while viewers can also catch the race action via Live Streaming on Bein Sports Connect.