Rosberg Regains Form; Wins Pole In Japan

SUZUKA, Japan- Despite the threat of Typhoon Phanfone closing in on the Suzuka International Circuit in just a couple of days, Nico Rosberg recovered from the electrical problem he had two weeks ago at Singapore to take his eighth pole of the season, edging out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by two tenths of a second Saturday afternoon for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix with his best time of 1:32:506. Valterri Bottas continued to impress in his Williams, taking third.

“That was one of the best qualifying sessions we did this year.” Rosbeg said to ESPN F1 reporter Laurence Edmondson. “The team did an incredible job to give me a brilliant car. It was so enjoyable to drive this wonderful track with that Silver Arrow. 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. Sometime he finds a tenth there, then I find a tenth here. That’s why I enjoy the situation so much.”

The whole qualifying period was under partly cloudy skies as Hamilton and Rosberg both dominated the sessions, with the latter with the first fastest time of 1:33:611. Besides the regular Maurussia and Caterham drivers being eliminated from the opening period, Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado also failed to make the cut, continuing the woes for the Enstone, England, based squad.

Rosberg won the following session, clocking a 1:32:950, while Sebastian Vettel, heading next season to Ferrari, just made the cut off for the final session, placing in tenth. Jean-Eric Vergne, Sergio Perez, Dani Kvyat, who will take Vettel’s spot next year at Red Bull, Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil and Estaban Gutierrez all failed to advance.

Rosberg grabbed the best time for pole just minutes from the end as Felipe Massa took fourth, completing a Williams’s second row, while Fernando Alonso, who is rumored to be leaving for McLaren, was fifth. Daniel Ricciardo took sixth, while current McLaren drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Vettel finished ninth, while Kimi Raikkonen, who will be the German’s new Ferrari teammate next year, rounded out the top ten.
Rosberg is well aware of the possible wet weather for tomorrow. However, as he stated to Edmondson, he should be ready for it.

“For tomorrow I think we are well prepared.” He said. “Even in the wet our car is very quick as we have seen in Spa this year. So I definitely look forward to the race here in Japan. Again I need to thank the incredible fans here. They wait for hours to see us drivers and give us little gifts. That gives us a very special feeling.”

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