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By Andrew Benson
Chief F1 writer at Suzuka
The Sebastian Vettel of ferrari produced a scintillating performance to take pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix.
It was Vettels first rod because the Canadian Grand Prix in June and eventually halted a run of nine races being out-qualified by team-mate Charles Leclerc.
The 21-year-old Monegasque, who has taken pole at the last four races, was next, 0.189 minutes behind.
Mercedes Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth, possibly over 0.2secs off the Ferraris.
Red Bulls Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon were sixth and fifth, putting the exact same lap time, 0.787secs off the pace, a hugely impressive performance from the Anglo-Thai in his very first trip Suzuka.
However, the narrative was Vettel, that has struggled below Leclercs challenge but revived memories of some of his best performances to get pole position at an illustrious career with two laps enough.
Vettel revelled in his execution after a session in which drivers were faced with gusting winds from Typhoon Hagibis, which compelled qualifying to be postponed until race morning from Saturday.
Vettel stated:We are very surprised. We didnt expect to have front row. It was incredible, the automobile being on and so mild tyres and wed head breeze through the Esses which is exactly what you desire. I dont believe I touched the wheels (there) besides Turn Two.
Him was threatening his final lap before he made some mistakes at the chicane and accelerating on into the straight but admitted that Vettel was simply too great for him.
Seb did an incredible lap, Leclerc said,and today he simply deserves to be on pole. Ive been a bit fighting since the start of the weekend. But Ive been happy with my lap aside from the industry once I did a few mistakes. But to be honest, pole was possible, Seb was just too fast.
Leclerc said he had been wary of the danger against the Mercedes cars.
Mercedes are very fast at the race, he said,and it isnt going to be easy but well attempt to concentrate on our task and maintain that one-two.
Mercedes had mastered but believed that Ferrari were carrying something in reserve and so it proved.
Bottas, who has looked quicker than Hamilton all weekend, said:We seemed quite robust but we always understood Ferrari could have something to turn up. Through the straights theyre unbeatable. But we are fast through the corners.
The tough conditions led to 2 drivers crashing out at the final corner at the first portion of qualifying in precisely the same area, as Williams driver Robert Kubica and Haas Kevin Magnussen equally dropped management.
Kubica understeered in the barriers, even though he managed to receive his car back, while the barriers backwards hit and spun and ran wide.
Both teams face a race against time to find the cars prepared in the brief period before the race starts at 14:10 local time (06:10 BST).
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