Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix – QUALIFYING


Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying

After the qualifying session taking place earlier today and with Lewis Hamilton securing his 71st pole – here is a roundup including driver and team interviews.

Team & Driver Interviews – Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying


Lewis Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton – 1st

“I’ve been coming here for so long, but it’s my first pole here at Suzuka! It was definitely worth the wait. I didn’t make one mistake all session and just kept getting better and better.”

“We built the foundation in Q1 and then just built upon it as qualifying developed. I’ve been waiting all weekend for that moment, for that lap in Q3 – it feels so good when it all comes together and it’s incredible to come here with this car and drive on this track.”

“I wish everyone could feel what we feel – it’s been a rollercoaster ride but with the downforce on these cars – it’s just insane. The way you throw the car around, I love that.”

know how quick the Ferrari’s were in Malaysia so it’ll be interesting to see how we can compare – we’ve put ourselves in the right position to get the job done on Sunday.”

“I don’t know if people watching realistic how much effort goes into qualifying but the team worked perfectly to get me out at the right time, into space on track and allow me to do what I needed to do – I’m so grateful for that. They did a great job and I hope that I can capitalise on that tomorrow.”

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas – 2nd* (Grid Penalty)

“It was a tricky day. I had a bit of an off FP3 and the car was damaged but the guys did a great job in getting the car back together. Everything worked perfectly and it’s been a tough few races.”

“Now I’m at least a little bit close with the limited running we had today but it’s a shame to lose the position due to a grid penalty – the car has been feeling different this weekend compared to last week. I was able to trust it more and drive it a bit more naturally which always makes the result better.”

“I should never lose self-confidence and that’s the key in the sport so I just need to carry on, keep chipping away and learning from everything.”

“I’m going to start on the soft tyre so I think we have a chance to try a different strategy to all the other cars around and hopefully we will be able to gain a few places as overtaking is always difficult on this track.”


Sebastian Vettel 

Sebastian Vettel – 3rd 

“I think the car was very good today and I was happy with it but it was just not enough for pole position.”

“In my last run, I tried to push maybe a little bit too much, knowing that Valtteri wasn’t a threat because of the grid penalty but that didn’t work.”

“We normally have a stronger car in the race than in Quali so it’s important to have good balance here and then you can always try something with the stops.”

“I am confident that we should have a good start and that is important but after that there are a lot of laps and the strategy is important as well – in terms of pace, hopefully we should be closer to our competitors so we will see tomorrow.”

Kimi Raikkonen 


Kimi Raikkonen – 6th 

“It was not a great start tot he day to go off track this morning in P3 and not the ideal preparation for qualifying.”

“After that, everything started to get a little bit more difficult but the team did a really good job to get the car back in one piece – in qualifying, the car felt OK but a little bit tricky and the biggest issues which we had was with the new tyres in the morning.”

“In Q3, when I really had to push – I made a mistake in the first run and had an average lap time in the second one – now I am paying the price of my mistake.”

After my crash, we have five place penalty for replacing the gearbox and this obviously complicates our race more but even though tomorrow will not be easy I think we have a good car for the race.”

Red Bull Racing 

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo – 4th

“Once again it was pretty close between myself and Max today. I got the half a tenth on Max this time and he’d had it on me in Qualifying in the last few races.”

“It was pretty important to be ahead and I will start third now because of Bottas’ penalty which puts me on the cleaner side of the grid, so thank you Valtteri.”

“I will take everything I can for now and I’m happy with that result. I had a slightly different set-up from Max today and chose to remove some downforce which I hope will help me in the race.”

“I haven’t seen Lewis’ lap yet but I’ve seen his time and we can’t quite do that, I think we feel we got pretty much everything out of the car today and we definitely couldn’t find a second.”

“We will see what tomorrow brings but I think if we can stay in a podium position we will be leaving here pretty happy. The start will be really important for us, it’s a pretty tricky track to overtake on and strategy is likely to play in to it but if I can get them on the start then hopefully that will be where I stay.”

“I hope I get my first Suzuka podium, it’s always been a fun track but I’ve never stood on the podium so that’s my target.”

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen – 5th

“It wasn’t an ideal Qualifying session for me, Q1 and Q2 went well but then we tried a few changes for Q3 which put me out of my rhythm a bit.”

“The time was still ok but I think I could have got a bit more out of it at the end. It was a better second timed lap but I think I could have finished a position higher, it was very tight.”

“The new cars mean higher corner speed which at this track essentially means some corners turn into longer straights, it’s a bit more physical and obviously means faster lap times. This also means it is a tougher track for us than in the years before.”

“I think the Mercedes race pace is quick but we are unsure of how Ferrari are looking, tomorrow will tell. We gain one spot with Bottas’ penalty so all we can do is fight and try to progress from P4.”

“I would like rain but that isn’t going to happen so hopefully with the dry weather we have good degradation and can challenge for a good result. Daniel and I are running different configurations tomorrow so we will have to see how they play come the race.”

“I hope the people in front make Turn 1 interesting tomorrow but not for me. I like sandwiches but not on the track.”


Fernando Alonso 


Fernando Alonso – 10th

“Knowing that we’d be starting last after changing the engine last night, meant qualifying wasn’t too important for us. Still, despite the penalty, we wanted to have a normal qualifying session and push; we have so many fans here – so many Honda supporters – and I think we succeeded and did a decent job.”

“Of course, the race will be much different, starting form the back it’ll be quite difficult to gain any advantage, but we’ll try to do the best we can to close up to the top 10.”

“Points would have been a difficult target even on a normal weekend, but since we’re starting last, on a track with so many high-speed corners where you can’t easily follow the cars in front, we’ll need a lot of action in front of us if we want to make up some positions.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne – 11th

“That was actually a pretty good session for me. Not getting through into Q3 isn’t actually that bad because it means I can start the race on a new tyre tomorrow.”

“Starting from eight/ninth is pretty decent, and, on a new tyre, it should make for a good day.”

“The limited running we’ve had so far this weekend has been the same for everyone, but we’re usually pretty strong at working out what the tyres are going to do, how long they’re going to last, and how to manage them efficiently.”

“We’ll definitely be looking to benefit from that tomorrow.”

“It still looks quite hard to decide between a one- and two-stop strategy, so we’ll also try to use that to our advantage. We’re not in a bad place – we can definitely race from this position.”

Lots more coming soon!

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂






1 Comment

  1. Louise
    7th November 2017 / 12:30 pm

    A great report and a great post. Thank you f1 girl!


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