E on such a day As a racing driver, it's better to tick it off quickly. Nico Hülkenberg first screwed up the lunch break for his mechanics, then he failed in the first round of qualification. And very close.
In the third session, the Renault driver lost his car on the curb of the fourth corner. Hulkenberg hit the tire wall on the inside of the curve in his R.S. The impact damaged the rear wing, underbody, crash structure and parts of the suspension. The Renault mechanics did a great job rebuilding it.
Suzuka highlights in the gallery
A good two hours later, their Sauber colleagues grabbed their heads because Marcus Ericsson had given them longer hours along the way. The Swede crashed into the lane at turn seven, which among other things led to a destroyed front and rear wing.
Lewis Hamilton got through the day unscathed. It should be the next good one for him. The world champion reached the next milestone with his 80th career pole. For him it was the second in Suzuka after 2017 and the fourth overall on Japanese soil. In 2007 and 2008, Hamilton raced to first place on the grid at Fuji. To his delight, man decker Valtteri Bottas is next to him in the front row. And World Cup rival Sebastian Vettel only starts from eighth place. A strategy error finally threw Ferrari out of step.
Mixing conditions with alternating rain and sunshine made Saturday's Suzuka difficult for the 20 drivers. Plus a route that challenges the driving talent like no other. The fans flocked to the track and cheeredSteering wheel artists too. You could look forward to an appropriate show. Especially since world champion Mika Häkkinen drove the McLaren MP4-13 from 1998 around the track for a show run. Will race Sunday also be eventful? Or is Mercedes racing away from the field? We're smarter on Sunday afternoon Japanese time or Sunday morning German time.
In our photo show we show you the highlights from Suzuka.