Lewis Hamilton said he was happy to qualify ‘best of the rest’ behind the Red Bulls in Suzuka after missing much of practice.
However he will drop from third to eighth on the grid due to his gearbox change penalty following damage incurred during the Singapore Grand Prix which wasn’t detected at the time:
I think so considering the speed of the Red Bulls. We knew this weekend that that would be very competitive and it’s not been the best of weekends for us.
I must say that the guys back at the factory have been working so hard to bring updates this weekend and, unfortunately, one of them we weren’t able to use today which, of course, would have given us a little more time. I think it was a fantastic job either way just to get the updates here.
And again, unfortunately, we had to change the gearbox after the last race. The collision I had with Mark damaged the driveshaft or the differential, unfortunately we hadn’t noticed that so it caused us to have a gearbox change.
But nonetheless the guys did a fantastic job last night, they stayed up as late as they could to make sure the car was good.
It was difficult for me to come in today obviously, only having five or six laps in the track through Friday and Saturday. I feel very happy to have come this far. I’m starting eighth, but from there we can hopefully have a good race.
However the race stewards are currently investigating a complaint from Williams alleging Nico Hülkenberg was held up by Hamilton on his final run. He said:
We did a good job this morning, but my last run of Q3 was destroyed by Hamilton. I don’t understand why he backed off into me because there wasn’t a car in front of him. You need all the downforce you can get here so to be only a second behind the guy in front isn’t going to help you get a good lap and it didn’t help me today.
2010 Japanese Grand Prix
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- Technical review: Japanese Grand Prix
- Tom Hitchings watches the Japanese GP at Suzuka
- Massa pleased by di Montezemolo’s support
- Hamilton takes heart from McLaren pace
- Mercedes admit missed opportunity to keep Schumacher in front of Rosberg
- Alonso says five drivers can still win title
- 2010 Japanese Grand Prix: the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend? (Poll)
- Dominant win for Vettel piles pressure on Webber (Red Bull race review)