Mercedes Front Row Lockout For Suzuka! 2018 Japanese Grand Prix QUALIFYING Report


Mercedes Front Row Lockout For Suzuka! 2018 Japanese Grand Prix QUALIFYING Report

Race Weekend: 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

Session: Qualifying

Location: Suzuka Circuit, Japan

It should have been a stronger weekend for the Scuderia Ferrari team however with Sebastian Vettel starting the race back in 9th – with a struggle, it looks like the weekend is in Mercedes’ favour. Kimi Raikkonen on the other hand will be starting the race tomorrow in P4 – a better result for the team but not what the want.

It’s another bittersweet weekend for the Red Bull Racing team with Max Verstappen starting the race in P3 following a wonderful weekend in Russia however his team-mate (until the end of the season) will be starting the race in P15 after a power loss problem.

As you can see, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team have locked out the front row for the race tomorrow and below, you can see what the drivers had to say about Qualifying (with rain) and the race tomorrow too.

MERCEDES – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix QUALIFYING Report



Lewis Hamilton: “The session started out ok – but then you look out the garage and you see it’s raining, spitting, that it’s very humid, I saw a couple of cars spin…It was very difficult to know whether the track was going to be dry or whether it was going to be wet.”

“We obviously had not done any practice in the wet and it looked like it was going to be wet in Q3. We were waiting in the garage for someone else to go out first. I think we made the right decisions as a team today.”

“It’s been a bit of an anti-climax because we couldn’t do that second lap. Today, they did such a great job in terms of the timings, there were no mistakes made even though there was a lot of pressure as there always is in Qualifying, yet still everyone was cool, calm and collected and did the job collectively as a team.”

“It’s really an amazing journey to be on with this team and I don’t think 80 pole positions is the end – but it’s a milestone and I’m very proud.”

“The last six years with this team have been incredible and I’m so proud of everyone and so grateful for everyone’s hard work which has enabled me to go out and exploit my own abilities.”



Valtteri Bottas: “First of all I want to say congratulations to Lewis – 80 pole positions, that’s a big number and he deserves a lot of respect for that, the cars have been so quick today as they have been all weekend and it was enjoyable to drive in Qualifying.”

“I struggled a lot in FP3, the car didn’t feel stable at all and I was struggling to find confidence. It got better in Qualifying and by Q2 it felt pretty good. Everything came down to one lap in Q3, I missed a little bit in sector 2 and 3, but I enjoyed it.

“Everyone in our team should be really proud of what we achieved today, of the car that we have and of how the team worked today – every single decision was right, everyone was calm.”

“It might have looked like a hectic session from the outside, but inside the team everything was so calm, we just stuck to our plan and made the right choices which ultimately produced this result.”

FERRARI – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix QUALIFYING Report



Sebastian Vettel: “At the beginning of Q3, I was asked if it was ok for me to go out on Inters and I said yes. Obviously, it was the wrong decision and now it’s easy to say, but it could have been the other way around.”

“We thought there could have been more rain, but in the end it didn’t come. If it had rained five minutes before, it would have been a different story. However, it wasn’t our session in terms of timing and we’ve been through similar situations a couple of time so far.”

“We are a team, so now we accept together the consequences. Tomorrow is another day, it won’t be easy as we start from the back, but it’s not impossible…”



Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a tricky qualifying with mixed conditions. In Q3 we thought that the rain would come earlier, so we decided to go out on Intermediate tyres.”

“Unfortunately it did not happen and then we were a bit off with the timing. We came in to fit the Supersoft , but in turn 14 I touched a wet kerb, ran a bit wide and lost some time.”

“Obviously fourth place is not ideal, but at least we were able to put a lap together despite the mistake. Third position could have been easily possible.”

“It’s a pity we did not get it today; the feeling with the car was getting better and better in qualifying. For sure tomorrow is going to be tricky, but we will do our best!”

RED BULL RACING – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix QUALIFYING Report


Max Verstappen: “Today as a team we made no mistakes, on or off the track. We managed to optimise the set-up and conditions in Q3 which resulted in a really good grid position to start from tomorrow.”

“It was crucial that we swapped the intermediates to slicks at the beginning of Q3, this allowed us to get out ahead of Ferrari and set a strong lap time.”

“I was a lot more satisfied with my feeling and performance in the car compared to yesterday. The hard work the guys put in overnight showed and meant I could have a good qualifying session.”

“I think the Mercedes will be too quick for us to challenge come the race, but with a good start who knows. Sebastian will be looking to come through the pack quickly so I may have some defending to do at some point, I will of course do my best to hang onto my position.”

“We need to concentrate on doing the best possible strategy from our side and then hopefully finish on the podium!”


Daniel Ricciardo: “As soon as I came through the last chicane to start my fast lap I immediately felt that something was wrong. I just didn’t have full power and I could hear the turbo or something wasn’t healthy.”

“I came to the pits and we tried to fix it but I think it’s something terminal. Then it started raining, I think if we had got out again and it was raining and I couldn’t get a lap in, then it could have been even more painful.”

“I just can’t catch a break at the moment and I’m pretty fed up with it. I’m doing everything I can and applying myself the best way that I know how to, but it’s not working so hopefully it turns around soon.”

“It makes me angry because if it was on me and I was slacking off then it would be different, but I still want to do the best I can for Red Bull until the end of the year and every race is important..”

MCLAREN – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix QUALIFYING Report


Fernando Alonso: “It has been tough today – we are the last two cars so definitely not the best performance so far. This whole weekend we have been slow in every session, with any tyre, as this high-efficiency circuit seems to hurt us more than others.”

“Aero efficiency is what we are lacking and especially here you need a car with lots of downforce and very low drag for the long straights. We know in what areas we need to improve  and it has been part of the job we’ve been doing in the last couple of races – trying to make sure next year’s car is stronger than this year’s.”

“In qualifying the balance of the car was good, so it wasn’t like we could have found any more time anywhere. Our pace is what it is, so it’s going to be a difficult race for us tomorrow, trying to recover from the back..”


Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s been a tough weekend for us and I think in a way it’s not been a surprise. We’ve been uncompetitive all weekend and our performance is similar to how we were in Russia.”

“When it comes to qualifying, we don’t seem to be able to make a small step forward. Hopefully in the race we should be a little bit better, but it’s a circuit where it’s difficult to overtake, so we’ll see how tomorrow goes.”

“Hopefully a little bit more happens during the race and we can benefit from that. It shows we still have a big deficit to catch up!”

“It will be good if tomorrow turns out to be a hot race, as it could introduce a bit of blistering on some of the tyres. We’ve been good when races have been like that, and tyre management is key – the strategy could make a difference too.”

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

x x