Japanese Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Hamilton, Leclerc, Verstappen and Bottas go for pole | F1 | Sport


Robert Kubica brought qualifying to an end just minutes into the first session after crashing into the wall.

The Williams driver hit the wall whilst rounding the last corner.

Luckily, he walked away from the crash seemingly unhurt, as his car was taken off on the back of a truck.

Perhaps due to the strong crosswinds, Kubica ran wide on the final turn, before the left side of the car collided with the wall, sending him spinning on the grass. 

Lewis Hamilton was happy with Mercedes’ pace on Friday ahead of Japanese Grand Prix qualifying and the race on Sunday.

He said: “It’s pretty amazing driving this track – we got a headwind through the esses in the first sector which has been great.

“It’s been a good day overall, we got through our programme but it’s a work in progress – there’s always time to find at this track, there’s always areas that you can improve.

“Valtteri showed some good pace and it seems we are in a good position at this point of the weekend. This is a track I really enjoy so I can’t wait to get back in the car.

“We’ll be analysing the data tonight and tomorrow to try and put ourselves into a good position for Sunday.”

Sebastian Vettel also thinks Ferrari have some pace but perhaps need to find more to compete with Mercedes.

He explained: “Today, was not too bad, at least it was better than it looked. We are in reasonable shape, but maybe we are lacking a bit of pace overall. Our rivals looked very comfortable right from the start of practice and they confirmed that pace in FP2.

“I think we have a bit of room for improvement as it wasn’t an ideal session, in terms of how we made use of our tyres.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow: relax and maybe do some indoor sports.

“On Sunday there will be a big question mark over the state of the track as tomorrow’s wind and rain will have an affect.”


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