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Watch Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat's huge qualifying crash

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Hamilton warns of more trouble

Lewis Hamilton was beaten to pole as qualifying in Japan was halted by a huge smash, writes Byron Young in Suzuka.

That meant Rosberg's initial time — just eight hundredths of a second better than Hamilton — stood for pole.

As they made their way round for the final runs, Kvyat lost control.

Mercedes had arrived in Japan looking for answers after their dominance disappeared in Singapore, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel winning from pole position.

Following the penalty, the teenager will start Sunday's race from 18th position.

The wrecked car of Kvyat is returned to the Red Bull team
The wrecked car of Kvyat is returned to the Red Bull team

At a circuit filled with bad memories from last season, when Jules Bianchi was severely injured in a crash here - injuries which would, nine months later, lead to his death - the sight of the young Russian's auto smashing into the barriers was dramatic and frightening enough to put hearts in mouths, momentarily.

Rosberg, though, was already celebrating.

The Japanese GP is very different from Singapore, so we should have a conclusive answer to whether their poor performance was a one-off or whether it's a serious problem for the rest of the year.

The difference was less than a tenth of a second.

Rosberg also claimed pole at last year's race, but ended up finishing second.

Afterwards he said: "It wasn't very pleasant, but I am OK".

The 21-year-old Spaniard was one of only 12 drivers to post a competitive lap as persistent rain played havoc with the track conditions.

 

We predict the fastest strategy to be: start on the medium, change to the medium from laps 16-18, hard from laps 33-35. So I went to the wrong setting and it emptied the pack after half a lap. "We can't make mistakes like this". With no dry running on Friday, many teams were straight onto long runs with heavy fuel.

Kvyat responded immediately to calls from his pit wall and said he was okay before walking away from the scene of the crash. "A little bit winded", said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Kvyat was scheduled to start Sunday's race from tenth on the grid but will instead start from the pitlane
Kvyat was scheduled to start Sunday's race from tenth on the grid but will instead start from the pitlane

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