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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vettel on pole in Japan while penalties shuffle grid

Sebastian Vettel topped an eventful qualifying session marred by three accidents at Suzuka, while five drivers were penalized, including the two Brawn drivers.

F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Qualifying

Jenson Button's hopes of sealing up the title look to be on hold as the championship leader was penalized for speeding under the yellow. He wasn't alone. Rubens Barrichello, Adrian Sutil, and Fernando Alonso received similar penalties, while Sebastien Buemi was hit for impeding.

Sutil, in particular, will be disappointed after putting the Force India third on the grid.

Jarno Trulli lines up next to Vettel in the Toyota, while Lewis Hamilton starts third in the McLaren.

Despite worries about rain, conditions were clear for qualifying, but that didn't prevent some serious shunts.

Q2 was delayed for eight minutes after Jaime Alguersuari crashed heavily, and again when Timo Glock went off. Alguersuari was unhurt, while Glock was taken to the medical center.

One more victim in Q2 was Buemi, who went off at 130R, bringing out the yellows.

It was another tough session for Giancarlo Fisichella, missing the cut in Q1 and well back from teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Mark Webber missed qualifying after a practice shunt. Both he and Glock will start from the pitlane after swapping chassis.

Grid and pre-race weights
  1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 658.5kg
  2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 655.5
  3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 656
  4. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 660
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 661
  6. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 675
  7. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 684.5
  8. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 686
  9. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 650*
  10. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 660.5*
  11. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 682.5
  12. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 658.5*
  13. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari, 661.5
  14. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 665.4*
  15. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 695.7
  16. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 691.8
  17. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 689.5*
  18. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 682.5
  19. Timo Glock, Toyota, n/a
  20. Mark Webber, Red Bull, n/a

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