Scuderia Ferrari locked out the front row in qualifying for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix. It’s the 65th all-Ferrari front row and the team’s 227th pole, the eight this year, and Sebastian Vettel’s second of the season after Canada. Team-mate Charles Leclerc starts alongside the German.
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal. “It’s very important to have got both our cars on the front row in qualifying in Suzuka. We haven’t done it since 2006 and it’s definitely a good start to the day. However, it’s this afternoon’s race that counts, so we must stay focussed and get on with the job in hand. We have made a step forward compared to Friday, running less rear wing to try and get more speed down the straights, which also helped with the car balance.”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas locked out the second row, with Valtteri Bottas starting 3rd and Lewis Hamilton 4th
In a session of two by two’s, Red Bull Racing duo Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon set identical times, while McLaren pair Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris were the best of the rest.
“The top three teams will line up in championship order after a tricky qualifying in windy conditions here at Suzuka. It was a strong performance from Alex on his first visit here to match Max’s lap time, so that is very positive. It was also an impressive display from Ferrari to qualify 1-2, but our focus turns immediately to the race in two hours’ time. Today’s compacted schedule doesn’t leave the mechanics long to get the cars turned around after qualifying so it will be all hands on deck,” said Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner.