Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel earned the pole position after a qualifying round marred by three red flags at Honda's Suzuka International Racing Course in Japan.
The 22-year old is racing with a lot of pressure: he is running on his last engine for the season so he has to take care of it until the final leg in Abu Dhabi yet he should strive to finish at least on third place to keep his championship hopes alive. With the cars on full throttle on the back straight going into 130R for those who are absolutely committed, there's a good chance that Vettel might need a ninth engine in Brazil which then means an instant 10-place grid demotion. When that happens it's "goodbye, driver's title" for the German. If it rains, however, Vettel wll get a chance to prove if he really is Michael Schumacher's heir apparent in the wet.
Vettel's will be followed by Toyota's Jarno Trulli and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton. Force India shows it still has the force with a P4 start for Adrian Sutil, while Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello is starting on fifth.
The first five as well as the other Formula One drivers sans Timo Glock who got into an accident on Saturday will do 53 laps on Suzuka's 5.807-kilometer circuit. The track is a favorite venue of drivers and fans alike due to its unique figure-eight design. It also has a combination of fast curves and slow corners which provides enough overtaking opportunities on track and helps give the circuit its character.
With the track's high-speed layout, both McLaren and Ferrari could make good use of their Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) once more. If nothing else, Suzuka could determine which outfit has the better KERS.