Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the 2014 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix after today’s qualifying session, with Lewis Hamilton claiming second spot to secure the Mercedes AMG team yet another front-row lockout, it’s fourth in a row. It’s also the team’s 14th pole position of the season and the eighth front-row lockout.

Rosberg’s time for Q3 was a 1:32.506, with Hamilton just behind with a 1:32.703, with a crash during practice clearly having no effect on the Briton. Behind them will start the two Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in third and fourth spots, respectively. Starting fifth will be Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and next to him at sixth on the grid will be Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Then it will be the two McLaren drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, who claimed seventh and eighth spots, respectively. Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel will start at ninth tomorrow and rounding out the top ten will be Ferrari’s other driver Kimi Räikkönen.

Rain is still expected for tomorrow’s race, but what’s more concerning to teams is the possibility that Typhoon Phanfone could disrupt things after the race. If packing all the equipment has to be delayed on safety grounds and flights on Monday are disrupted, it means cars, equipment and personnel arriving late in Sochi for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix next weekend. For these reasons and a general concern that bad weather could see tomorrow’s event at the Suzuka Circuit also disrupted, the possibility of bringing the race forward is currently being discussed.

Going into the race, Lewis Hamilton leads the 2014 Drivers’ Championship with 241 points, with Nico Rosberg in second just three points behind the leader. In third place is Daniel Ricciardo who sits on 181 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG enjoys a total 479 points, followed by Infiniti Red Bull Racing in second with 305 points and Williams in third with 187 points.


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