The winds had picked up around Suzuka, but the seemingly insignificant 7km p/h cross-breeze would be of greater consequence for those teetering on the edge of grip around Spoon Curve and Degner.
Gutierrez was the first man into the 1:33′s, but Raikkonen was already a tenth up in the first sector alone. It was Button however that jumped to the provisional top of Q1 with a 1:32.6 with a beautiful rotation through the chicane.
Gutierrez (now in his pits) made a hasty exit from his Sauber when a fire ignited from the engine bay. The fire was extinguished as quickly as it started but it was unknown st this stage whether the imultion would halt Esteban's qualifying proceedings....
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