Japanese GP: McLaren qualifying notes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Speedway from his fifth Formula 1 career pole position. In Saturday's difficult qualifying with a wet track and poor visibility, Lewis put in a...

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Speedway from his fifth Formula 1 career pole position. In Saturday's difficult qualifying with a wet track and poor visibility, Lewis put in a time of 1m25.368. Fernando Alonso qualified second fastest with 1m25.438 and made it the fifth all Vodafone McLaren Mercedes front row of the year.

Lewis Hmailton:

"A very good qualifying for me and also the team. I really like the Fuji circuit. We looked strong already yesterday during practice when it was dry. Obviously today's wet conditions made it a very challenging session particularly as this morning's free practice had been cancelled -- this makes today's result even more satisfying."

"The car ran perfectly, and the team has done a great job in making sure we were as prepared as possible. My final lap was quite good. I managed to improve my style in a couple of corners which made a difference but lost a little bit of time in the exit of the last corner. Today's pole position is important, but tomorrow is when it counts."

Fernando Alonso:

"Today's qualifying was OK for me. Of course, pole position would have been better, but I am satisfied to start from the front row which will be a good basis for the race. I have always liked driving in the wet, so I enjoyed today's qualifying. It's very challenging, and I think it will be an exciting race tomorrow as our main competitors are incredibly close and have been both in the dry and wet conditions."

"The Bridgestone wet tyre has been working well for us today. Obviously I will do what I can to take the lead but also be sensible as it's not in anybody's interest not to finish the race. I am happy with the team's performance, and the work we have done so far this weekend and look forward to the race tomorrow."

Ron Dennis:

"A great result in today's qualifying for the team with Lewis and Fernando occupying the front row. Both did a great job in these challenging conditions and are happy with their cars. The team, both here in Japan and back at base, has put in a lot of effort in preparing for these final three races and I am pleased that all our hard work seems to be paying off. However the race is where it counts, but today's result has provided us with the best possible basis for either Lewis or Fernando tomorrow."

Norbert Haug:

"Probably one of the most exciting qualifying sessions this season with Lewis and Fernando achieving the optimum result for the team in most difficult conditions when it is very easy to get it wrong. With a gap of seven hundredths of a second between these two, it was very close indeed. The fifth all Vodafone McLaren Mercedes front row and a total of seven pole positions is quite a good balance for this season. I expect a close fight for tomorrow's race; however, we had fast and consistent laps in Friday's free practice and a sound basis for the race tomorrow."

Chassis allocation
Fernando Alonso: MP4-22 06
Lewis Hamilton: MP4-22 05
T-car: MP4-22 03

-credit: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes , McLaren