Sebastian Vettel scored his fourth consecutive pole position at Suzuka with a impressive lap time of 1:30.839. Mark Webber helped Vettel in Red Bull's first ever front row lockout in 2012 with 1:31.090.
6 drivers decided to do two runs in Q3 while the rest four were content with a single run. In the first run, it was again Vettel on top on a high downforce track which traditionally suits his car. However, in the second run, Kimi Raikkonen spun out on track causing yellow flags and halting some quick lap times.
Last year's winner Jenson Button was thus 3rd fastest with a laptime of 1:31.290. However, the British driver will have to start from 8th place due to a gearbox change. Kamui Kobayashi was fourth fastest and will be promoted to 3rd place in case he's not given a penalty for speeding under the yellow flags. Romain Grosejan was 5th fastest(1:31.898) ahead of the second Sauber of Sergio Perez(1:32.022).
Championship leader Fernando Alonso was 7th fastest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton was the big loser of the late yellow flag and will start the race from 9th place. Hulkenberg's flying lap was also interrupted by the same and he could only qualify in 10th place. But he'll be forced to start from 15th place after Force India changed his gearbox earlier this morning.
Felipe Massa was the first driver to miss out on Q3 ahead of Force India's Paul di Resta. The latter's lap was interrupted by a lockup. Both the Mercedes failed to make into Q3 with Schumacher and Rosberg only 13th and 15th fastest. Williams also had a poor day with Maldonado 14th fastest and Senna failing to make into Q2.
Interestingly, Pedro de la Rosa managed to out qualify Marussia's Charles Pic, Caterham's Vitaly Petrov and his teammate Narain Karthikeyan and will start tomorrow's race from 21st place.
01. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.839
02. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m31.090
03. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.294
04. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m31.700
05. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m31.989
06. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.022
07. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m32.114
08. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m32.208
09. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.327
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes no time
11. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m32.293
12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m32.327
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.469
14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m32.512
15. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.625
16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m32.954
17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.368
18. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m33.405
19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m34.657
20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m35.213
21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m35.385
22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m35.429
23. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m35.432
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m36.734