Mark Webber claimed his first pole position of the season – and his first since Korea last year – with a superb performance in qualifying in Japan on Saturday afternoon.

Mark_Webber-Japanese_GP-Q02The Australian got the better of Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel, who suffered from intermittent KERS issues in Q3. Webber had set the pace in Q1 at Suzuka with 1m 32.271s as he took the honours away from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who in turn had displaced Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Webber actually set two times that were quick enough for pole position in Q3; his first lap of 1m 30.975s quicker than Vettel’s two efforts of 1m 31.312s and 1m 31.089s, and his second an improved 1m 30.915s.

As the Red Bulls wrapped up the front row, Hamilton improved from 10th place to third with his last-gasp lap of 1m 31.253s, moving Grosjean across to the outside of the second row on 1m 31.365s.

Massa once again outgunned Ferrari team mate Alonso, as the Brazilian set the fifth-best time of 1m 31.378s and the Spaniard could only manage 1m 31.665s for eighth. In between them came Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes on 1m 31.397s and Sauber’s impressive Nico Hulkenberg on 1m 31.644s.

Pos. Drivers Teams Time Laps
01. Australia Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:30.915 13
02. Deutschland Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:31.089 13
03. United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas 1:31.253 17
04. France Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 1:31.365 21
05. Brazil Felipe Massa Scuderia Ferrari 1:31.378 17
06. Deutschland Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas 1:31.397 17
07. Deutschland Nico Hulkenberg Sauber F1 1:31.644 19
08. Spain Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari 1:31.665 16
09. Finland Kimi Raikkonen Lotus F1 1:31.684 19
10. United Kingdom Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:31.827 15
11. Mexico Sergio Perez Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:31.989 16
12. United Kingdom Paul di Resta Sahara Force India 1:31.992 15
13. Finland Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 1:32.013 14
14. Mexico Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 1:32.063 15
15. Venezuela Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 1:32.093 15
16. Australia Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:32.485 11
17. Deutschland Adrian Sutil* Sahara Force India 1:32.890 10
18. France Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:33.357 6
19. United Kingdom Max Chilton Marussia F1 1:34.320 8
20. France Charles Pic* Caterham F1 Team 1:34.556 8
21. Holland Giedo van der Garde Caterham F1 Team 1:34.879 9
22. France Jules Bianchi* Marussia F1 1:34.958 5
  Q1 107% Time: 1:38.251  
* Bianchi, Pic have 10-place grid penalties after accumulating three stewards’ reprimands. Sutil has 5-place penalty for gearbox change