2016 Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying

NICO ROSBERG CLAIMS POLE FOR MERCEDES ON SOFTS
IN COOL AND OVERCAST CONDITIONS

THE TOP 10 ON THE GRID WILL ALL START
ON SOFT TYRES

TWO STOPS ARE LIKELY FOR THE RACE,
WITH VARIABLE WEATHER POSSIBLE


Suzuka, October 8, 2016 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has claimed pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, setting a time of 1m30.647s on the soft tyre: the fastest time of the weekend so far that was around two seconds faster than last year’s pole.

Two stops seem set to be the most probable strategy for the grand prix tomorrow, although this will depend on track and weather conditions. Following some overnight rain, qualifying remained completely dry; however damp conditions at the start of FP3 meant that the Cinturato intermediate and full wet was also briefly used today – meaning that all five tyres were run.

Everyone used just the soft tyre from Q2 onwards. In Q3 the drivers did two runs (apart from Force India and Haas), timing the final laps for the very end of the session in order to benefit from track evolution.

Tomorrow is expected to stay dry but the possibility of showers remains, with similar track temperatures to the 26 degrees centigrade seen today.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Track temperatures were cooler than they had been yesterday, which affected tyre behaviour, along with the overnight rain that washed whatever rubber had been laid on the track yesterday away. The superior speed of the soft tyre meant that it was the automatic choice for qualifying and so the top 10 will all be starting on this compound tomorrow. Where they go from here in terms of strategy will be very interesting, with the whole field closely matched in terms of speed and the possibility of cool and variable weather.”

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How the tyres behaved today:
Hard: Used by two drivers at Q1 start as an installation. Mandatory set for the race.
Medium: Mercedes and Red Bull got through Q1 with medium only, not used thereafter.
Soft: The most popular tyre choice for Suzuka, with a 1.3 second per lap advantage.

Free practice 3 – top three times

Rosberg 1m32.092s Soft new
Ricciardo 1m32.394s Soft new
Vettel 1m32.731s Soft new

Qualifying top 10

Rosberg 1m30.647s Soft new
Hamilton 1m30.660s Soft new
Raikkonen 1m30.949s Soft new
Vettel 1m31.028s Soft new
Verstappen 1m31.178s Soft new
Ricciardo 1m31.240s Soft new
Perez 1m31.961s Soft new
Grosjean 1m31.961s Soft new
Hulkenberg 1m32.142s Soft new
Gutierrez 1m32.547s Soft new

Most laps by compound so far

Hard Sainz 24 laps
Medium Palmer 24
Soft Kvyat 22
Magnussen 22
Intermediate Grosjean 2
Gutierrez 2
Wet Bottas 1
Magnussen 1
Massa 1
Palmer 1

Best time by compound so far

Hard Hamilton 1m33.475s
Medium Rosberg 1m31.858s
Soft Rosberg 1m30.647s

 

 

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