06/10/2012

Japanese GP - Qualifying Results

Results: Hulkenberg 10th (will start 15th)(No time set), di Resta 12th (will start 11th)(1:32.327), Karthikeyan 24th (1:36.734).

The first thing to say is kudos to the Sahara Force India mechanics for managing to get Nico Hulkenberg out on track for qualifying following the German driver's crash in FP3. They don't get enough credit for the wonderful job they do!

Nico Hulkenberg had an okay session, but he will have hoped for more. He did well to get into Q3 and the German decided to only set one flying lap in that final session. Unfortunately his sector one time was very poor plus then the yellow flags came out in sector two - ruining his lap completely. Additionally, Nico has a 5-place grid penalty for a unscheduled gearbox change. He will start P15 tomorrow.

Paul di Resta will be disappointed with his result, he was held up by three cars on his first flying lap in Q2 and didn't quite manage to do an optimal laptime on his second flying lap. The Scot was just 0.055s away from P10 in that session. He will start 11th provisionally, benefiting from Nico's penalty.

I suspect these positions will change a lot before tomorrow. A number of penalties could be handed out for traffic & ignoring yellow flags.

Meanwhile Narain Karthikeyan had a horrible qualifying session, despite showing promise in practice. He was the slowest man, a huge 1.3 seconds slower than Petrov in 23rd. Such a huge gap is unlikely to be purely down to pace, there may have been some problem for Narain.

We'll have more analysis soon, expect these positions to change yet though.

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