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Japanese Grand Prix
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Suzuka Circuit • Qualifying
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Qualifying

Follow the Japanese Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 06:00 on 6 October 2012. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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Thanks for joining us today and be sure to log onto the website same time tomorrow morning for what should be an interesting race at Suzuka. Or if you don't want to wait, keep the F1 discussion going with me on Twitter and let me know what you thought of qualifying @liamhappe

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So it's a Red Bull lockout with two Saubers in the top five.

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Button consolidates third as Kobayashi moves fourth. Button of course has a five-place penalty but will still be ahead of stablemate Hamilton who is ninth.

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Raikkonen gravels and the yellow flags cost Hamilton a chance to disrupt the status quo!

10'

Flag time as Perez goes fifth fastest.

9' 

The Red Bulls are back out and all 10 drivers are on the track.

8' 

Grosjean is the last to emerge for Q3 as the shootout commences.

7' 

Vettel and Webber pit, as does Hamilton though the outgoing McLaren man will be back out in search of a massive final attempt.

6' 

Button goes third and Alonso will be giving this one go and one go alone to preserve tyres for the race.

5' 

Webber goes second for a Red Bull lockout halfway through.

4' 

Raikkonen's 1'32.208 is first on the board but Vettel soon takes over with a superb 1'30.839.

3' 

Vettel and Webber begin their flying laps while Alonso, the sole Ferrari in Q3, remains in pits.

2' 

Raikkonen is first out with Vettel and Hamilton not far behind on used softs from Q2.

1'

Here we go with Q3: Ten drivers, ten minutes.

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Hulkenberg changed his gearbox after his FP3 shunt so though he made it through, he will drop five places after this session.

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So after Q2, we have lost Massa, di Resta, Schumacher, Maldonado, Rosberg, Ricciardo and Vergne.

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Schumacher comes 12th and is out. Massa is at severe risk of seeing his time bumped out of the top ten and in fact Grosjean going seventh confirms it.

15' 

Raikkonen goes third fastest and Schumacher needs to hit a top ten time on this lap as the flag goes up...

14' 

Kobayashi moves into the top five as Hulkenberg moves up to sixth.

13' 

Alonso goes third with 1'31.833.

12' 

Button appears happy with second fastest between Red Bulls Vettel and Webber.

11' 

Alonso and Rosberg head out in their Ferraris in search of a better pace at 8th and 13th respectively.

10' 

The latest late Schumacher rush begins as he leaves the pits with five minutes left.

9' 

Maldonado heads back to pits which leaves an empty track momentarily.

8' 

Schumacher the only remaining driver yet to put a Q2 time in at the halfway point as Maldonado fails to crack the top 10 on his softs.

7' 

Webber settles for third after a strong lap blighted by an error at the final chicane.

6' 

But it is Vettel looking most impressive of all so far today and he has taken the lead with 1'31.501. Button, Webber, Hamilton and Massa all within .8 of a second of the pace as Kobayashi goes down to sixth.

5' 

Hamilton, with the help of McLaren, has found a good gap in traffic while Alonso gets into the top 3 on used tyres.

4' 

Kobayashi sets the opening gambit with 1'32.368.

3' 

Hamilton opts for fresh tyres while Alonso is out on used rubber.

2' 

Kobayashi the first driver out for Q2, where another seven drivers will be cut off after this 15-minute session leaving 10 to battle for front end positions. Soft tyres will be the only option here.

 
 
1'

And here we go with Q2.

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Senna far from happy with Vergne's driving in Q1, and the early knockout do no favours for the under-pressure driver.

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Q1 knockouts are Senna, Kovalainen, Glock, de la Rosa. Petrov, Pic and Karthikeyan. "Unbelievable," Senna tells his team after Schumacher's great escape...

20'

The flag is out but Schumacher just about squeaks through, pushing Senna into the bottom seven.

19' 

Not for long, though, as native Kobayashi clocks a 1'32.042 to a good reception from the spectators.

18' 

Raikkonen posts the current fastest time with a 1'32.221.

17' 

Between Maldonado coming straight onto soft compound and Di Resta recording good times there will be a few teams going for the softs when otherwise they would avoid doing so for Q1.

16' 

Alonso and Raikkonen are about to record laps with soft rubber.

15' 

Maldonado is back out and takes second on soft compounds.

14' 

Vettel's first flying lap is 1'32.608 to go straight to the top. Massa bumped down to second and Webber third.

13' 

Here comes Vettel and it looks like Schu is on his way now. Kovalainen is the top driver on softs so far in 15th.

12' 

Vettel is about to emerge with hard tyres. Schumacher remains by the monitors with eight minutes of Q1 left.

11' 

Massa is the first driver to hold the lead for a period of time, currently topping the sheets with a 1'32.946.

10' 

Maldonado completes just one lap before heading back to pits with some technical issues early on. No sign of Vettel or Schumacher yet.

8' 

Hamilton makes his first appearance and is told to find a gap in traffic without slowing down throgh 130R, which was a tactic employed by others to cause him problems during practice.

6' 

Lotus pair Grosjean and Raikkonen come out on hards, which are very durable here, while Pic and Glock are out with soft rubber.

4' 

Di Resta gets the first time on the board, it's 1'33.661. Petrov heads out immediately with softs on his Caterham.

2' 

Di Resta is the first driver out on track after around 90 seconds. He is followed by Perez who is fuelled for five laps of timed racing.

0'

And we are underway.

6:00 

Nico Hulkenberg faces a race against time to feature as his team fix his Force India car following a crash this morning in FP3. Michael Schmacher carries a 10-place grid penalty into this session after his shunt in Singapore.

5:55 

Good morning and welcome to our LIVE racecast of the Japanese Grand Prix qualifying session at Suzuka.