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By Andrew Benson
Chief F1 author at Suzuka
The Sebastian Vettel of ferrari made a scintillating performance to take pole position.
It finally stopped a streak of nine races being out-qualified by team-mate Charles Leclerc and had been Vettel pole because the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
Even the 21-year-old Monegasque, that has taken pole in the previous four races, was second, 0.189 minutes behind.
Mercedes Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth, both just over 0.2secs from the Ferraris.
Red Bulls Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon were fifth and sixth, putting the exact identical lap time, 0.787secs off the pace, a hugely impressive performance from the Anglo-Thai in his first trip to Suzuka.
But the storyline was Vettel, who has struggled somewhat in the next half of the season below the struggle of Leclerc but revived memories of a few of his best performances in an illustrious career with just two laps enough.
Vettel revelled in his own operation on the magnificent Suzuka track after a catchy session where drivers were confronted with strong gusting winds, a hangover.
Vettel stated:We are quite surprised. We didnt expect to have front row. It was incredible, the car being on and so mild brand new tyres and wed mind breeze through the Esses which is what you would like. I dont believe I touched the brakes (there) apart from into Turn Two.
Leclerc accelerating on into the straight and was threatening him until he left some errors but confessed that Vettel was just too good for him.
Seb did an amazing lap, Leclerc said,and now he simply deserves to be on rod. Ive been a bit. However, I have been fairly content with my lap. But to tell the truth, pole was possible, Seb was simply too fast.
Leclerc said he was wary of the threat from the Mercedes cars in the race.
Mercedes are extremely fast at the race, he stated,and it is not going to be easy but we will try to concentrate on our task and keep this one-two.
Mercedes had dominated Friday practice but felt so it proved, that Ferrari held something in reserve afterward.
Bottas, that has looked faster than Hamilton all weekend, said:We looked quite robust but we always knew Ferrari could have something to flip up. Throughout the straights they are unbeatable. But were fast through the corners
The conditions led crashing out at precisely exactly the same place as Williams driver Robert Kubica and Haas Kevin Magnussen both dropped management, in the last corner in the early portion of non invasive.
Kubica understeered into the barriers, although he was able to get his car back while the obstacles backwards struck and spun and ran wide on the grass.
Both groups face a race against time to get the cars ready in the short interval before the race starts at 14:10 local time (06:10 BST).
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Analysis and comment from the chief Formula 1 author of the BBC.
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