Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2014

Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole position at Suzuka

2014 Japanese Grand Prix qualifying

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2014Nico Rosberg will start the Japanese Grand Prix from pole position after prevailing in a session-long battle with team mate Lewis Hamilton.

The two Mercedes drivers were very closely matched in the first two parts of qualifying. But when the final shoot-out began Rosberg revealed he had more time in hand and was quicker than Hamilton on both of their final runs.


Hamilton brushed off any after-effects from his crash in the final practice session by putting his Mercedes at the top of the times in the first part of qualifying, six-hundredths of a second faster than his team mate.

Q1 proceeded according to its usual pattern, although the Red Bull drivers fell close to the drop zone after deciding against using the softer tyres, to save them for the later stages.

Both Sauber drivers gained places in Q2 with their last run at the expense of the Lotus pair, who were separated by a few hundredths of a second.

Behind them Marcus Ericsson was best of the rest, pipping Jules Bianchi by a tenth of a second after the Marussia driver failed to get to the chequered flag in time to start his last lap. Kamui Kobayashi was another tenth of a second slower, his engineering complimenting him on his first run on the medium component.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’35.917
18Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’35.984
19Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’36.813
20Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’36.943
21Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’37.015
22Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’37.481


There remained little to choose between the two Mercedes drivers in the second part of qualifying. The difference between the pair was just 0.032 seconds at the end of Q2, though this time Rosberg was the quicker of the two.

“I threw it away in the last corner,” rued Nico Hulkenberg after locking his brakes at the chicane. It left him on the rough end of a very tight scrap: team mate Sergio Perez was one hundredth of a second quicker, Daniil Kvyat separated the pair, and all three failed to reach Q3.

Kvyat, meanwhile, was frustrated by his rivals slowing in the final sector in preparation for their flying laps, saying it caused his engine’s anti-stall to cut in.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’34.984
12Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’35.089
13Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’35.092
14Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’35.099
15Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’35.364
16Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’35.681


The finely-poised fight between Hamilton and Rosberg took a twist in Q3. Rosberg found a crucial margin in the middle part of the lap, and at the end of their first runs he held a useful margin of three tenths of a second over his team mate.

Behind them some drivers were becoming concerned about how traffic on their out-laps was affecting their running. The Red Bull drivers elected to begin their final laps first and Daniel Ricciardo was rewarded with a time improvement, although surprisingly he remained behind Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari as well as the Williams and Mercedes pair.

With his final run Hamilton recovered some of the lost time to Rosberg but remained two-tenths of a second slower than his team mate in the middle sector, where he locked his brakes at the hairpin.

Rosberg gained a few hundredths in the first and last sectors as well, and delivered his eighth pole position of the season by two tenths of a second over his team mate.

Top ten in Q3

1Nico RosbergMercedes1’32.506
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’32.703
3Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’33.128
4Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’33.527
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’33.740
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’34.050
7Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’34.242
8Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’34.317
9Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’34.432
10Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’34.548

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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32 comments on “Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole position at Suzuka”

  1. Solid grid that should lead to a number of battles throughout the race. Good job by Nico, but I just can’t see him winning the race. He’s been found wanting when Hamilton’s started near him and has had a reliable car in the race. I’m predicting a Hamilton win, Rosberg 2nd and Bottas 3rd

    1. Don’t forget the incoming typhoon. Who knows, we might see the Ferraris or even Mclarens in the fight if the weather plays a huge part.

    2. You wouldn’t be a LH fan by any chance? lol If it rains then anything can happen and probably will and the rain is the only change to break this LH and NR procession which is becoming boring and uninteresting. Let’s all pray for rain and a very competitive and close race because that is the only way we as fans can and will enjoy a F1 race from now until the end of the season. Go Danni and I hope he shines through the rain forecasted race.

      1. 2s faster in the wet in Spa, so I don’t think they will be breaking any procession.

        1. +1. 100% agree.

        2. Well the Jap GP turned out to be a disaster and the FIA should be ashamed of themselves for being so indecisive and making the race as interesting as watching grass grow, but one tragedy which should have never happened if the PC was out and that was Bianchi crash which should have never happened or had such disastrous consequences. Hope he will be ok and will recover to race again. Get well Jules we are all with you.

      2. Indeed I m a LH fan.. I’m just not as crazy as some others. What I said is easily backed up by race results this season lol, LH fan or not.. When they start near eachother and neither suffer reliability issues LH has more often than not come out on top.

      3. @steveng Some of us find the Merc rivalry exciting and enthralling, far from boring and uninteresting. Some of us hate rainy races and watching cars lapping 15 or 20 seconds slower than they do in the dry.

  2. Weather forecast anyone? Look like RBR are betting on a very wet race…

    1. Maybe Ham slightly aswell he as been faster in sector1 most of qually and practise.

      1. nah, hamilton said he “wasn’t feeling it” – rosberg beat him fair and square.

  3. Trenthamfolk (@)
    4th October 2014, 7:27

    All set up for a cracking race tomorrow – full on unknowns and lots of rivalry!

  4. The possibility of half points being rewarded was mentioned because of the possible weather conditions. What are the chances of a massive sandstorm hitting Abu Dhabi?

    1. Kenneth Ntulume
      4th October 2014, 7:34

      NEVER laughed so hard….#massive sandstorm. ..that would be something

    2. Just think, a few laps behind the safety before they cancel the race and ROS will be 1/2 point in the lead of WDC.

      1. The whole point in half points is 50% lol, they don’t just race a few laps.

      2. I don’t know why they can’t start the race early. I think its because of the TV schedules etc but wouldn’t it be worse if they just followed a safety car for 2 laps and call it a day? I think FIA have gone mad.

    3. I had the same thought on Friday – half points of an Abu Double!

  5. Great lap by Rosberg! Hope this can mean that he can challenge and beat Hamilton on pace again! But the main story: Alonso. I hope Ferrari sees this. This man, is the man who they decided they wanna kick out. The man who out-qualified his World Champion teammate by 8 tenths, while Vettel was behind Ricciardo by 4 tenths. So Ferrari, I hope you are a failure for the next few years just because of your arrogance, and hope you fail with Vettel. Just remember Ferrari, if you are a loser for the next few year, remember you did this to yourself.

    1. I don’t think Ferrari was kicked out Alonso. Alonso wants to leave to have a better chance at winning the championship, a Honda engine might well deliver that. Vettel is currently not doing aswell as his teammate, but all great drivers have periods like this. do you know who Vettel is and what he has done in this sport?

      1. I also don’t think that Ferrari kicked Alonso out. It’s just that they didn’t make enough effort to keep him

  6. Formula-I (@)
    4th October 2014, 7:35

    Great recovery after Miserable Singapore, i expect Nico to win the races even though it rain, Nico was not too bad in wet conditions, but it should be close Lewis

  7. During the broadcast of the practices and qualifying (in the USA anyway) there were talking about the possibility the race might need to start early or perhaps not happen at all due to the weather. I hope that’s not the case as a wet race at Suzuka would be fantastic.
    On a side note
    “Rosberg gained a few hundredths in the first and last sectors as well, and delivered his eighth pole position of the season by almost three tenths of a second over his team mate.”
    .197 is almost two tenths, not three…

  8. Wow Alonso .8 faster than Kimi. Ferrari have to be looking at Raikkonen’s season and how to get out of his contract.

    1. Seems Ferrari would rather pay several times more to achieve the same result, or worse, they were getting with Massa.
      This is race 15, if it were to be another driver they’d be calling for his head.

    2. Raikkonen had an engine trouble and Ferrari was foced to change parts in his car and Raikkonen was not able to do setup for his car. This caused severe understeer in Raikkonen’s car.

  9. You know, being a raikkönen fan i kind of figured i’d been through enough misery during his Mclaren years. yeah screw that. its like 2008 all over again. or more like 2009 for added ferrari crapiness

  10. They’ll be set up for the wet so today was a case of getting the best lap you could in with a car that wasn’t really dialed in to the track.

  11. I think Hamilton set his car up for a wet race, more so than Rosberg, thus losing the pole!

    1. No, he admit that Nico is quicker. So what would you say??

      1. Trenthamfolk (@)
        4th October 2014, 18:26

        I take EVERYTHING F1 drivers say with a pinch of salt… ‘he admitted’ in your words, means nothing.

  12. Well here’s a perfect opportunity for NR to start to change some people’s minds about his ability to beat LH when both cars are healthy. So here’s hoping they are, come rain or shine…and I always hope for shine. NR needs to stamp his authority on this race, weather permitting. However, is there much chance it won’t rain?

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