Allison anticipates 'slugging match' with Ferrari in Japan

Saturday, 07 Oct, 2017

"It's incredible, it's been 10 years trying to get that pole position - 10th time lucky!"

"It's always going to be hard to beat him".

"It's been an interesting day", Hamilton said.

But the gap between the Ferrari and the Mercedes on the faster rubber was only 0.211s here, not the whopping 1.4s it had been last Friday. "Not so much for here but it's only a couple of days", Vettel said. "And what is important is that our auto is good".

He expects his auto to perform much better in the cooler conditions this weekend in Japan.

"It's incredible to come here with this auto and drive on this track", said Hamilton.

Eliminated from Q1 were Grosjean, Gasly, Stroll, Ericsson and Wehrlein.

Esteban Ocon was sixth for Force India with the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg seventh and McLaren's Fernando Alonso eighth. The fans are pretty special here - to be out there in the rain, waiting for us to go out through the whole of FP2. I was like, 'Let's just go, ' they were like, 'No, no we wait.' I was like, 'Look I want to go out, ' so they let me out.

But gremlins that plagued the team's weekend in Malaysia prompted a tetchy response from Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, who admitted he was "angry" at the lack of reliability shown by the cars.

That represented unfamiliar territory for the reigning champions, even if they came away with a tidy points haul as Ferrari self-destructed.

"I couldn't believe it because he threw a definite win with being just too hot-headed and a bit too self-confident, believing he is always in the right".

As the track had dried after heavy rain at the start of the morning, Mercedes quickly got down to business with Bottas and Hamilton setting the pace on soft Pirellis, ahead of the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

"We are behind so it depends on what Mercedes is doing", he said.

Proceedings will resume at 2PM local time but the weather is still uncertain so we'll be watching the skies. "We've put ourselves in the right position to get the job done on Sunday".

"I used the soft tyre in Q2, so that mixed my rhythm slightly I think". "So trying to understand that and how we can improve that for next year's auto is key". It was an efficient clean-up however by the marshals and the session resumed after a short delay. He was unable to minimise the cost, however, with both Red Bull's beating the Finn to fourth and fifth at a circuit Ferrari should expect to be the next quickest behind Mercedes.

FIA officials had said Budkowski would serve three months of gardening leave before being released from his contract, but opposing teams fearful of potential skulduggery have blasted that time frame as being woefully short. Unfortunately, there's not a lot we can really extrapolate from this data!