Mark Webber produced a stellar lap to claim his first pole position of 2013 at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Australian's 1:30.915 was the quicker of two blistering lap times he set in the final top 10 shootout to claim pole by .174 from Sebstian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton could only manage third ahead of Lotus' Romain Grosjean. Felipe Massa had his best qualifying for a while with fifth ahead of Nico Rosberg as Nico Hulkenberg again impressed for Sauber taking seventh.

Fernando Alonso could only manage eighth and would need to improve if Vettel was to win tomorrow, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button completed the top 10.

Behind Sergio Perez was unlucky as he could only manage 11th in the second McLaren, Paul di Resta was much faster than his team-mate Adrian Sutil as he took 12th for Force India.

Valtteri Bottas also had one of his better qualifying sessions for a while in 13th ahead of Esteban Gutierrez who couldn't make it three-straight top 10 starts down in 14th. Pastor Maldonado was 15th while Daniel Ricciardo couldn't find the pace he had on Friday with a disappointing 16th for the Australian.

In the opening segment there was plenty of drama as Gutierrez encountered a flash fire on his return to the pits from his first run, more fiery action as Jean-Eric Vergne's rear brakes overheated and he was forced off the track causing a brief red flag period.

With just under three minutes on the clock and with Vergne seemingly out it was up to Sutil and Gutierrez to improve, sadly for Sutil his improvement was not enough and he joined Vergne and the slower teams in the knock-out zone.

Of the slower teams Max Chilton produced a good lap to take 19th ahead of the Caterham's of  Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde. Jules Bianchi's tricky weekend continues and he was last.

That will not be the final order however as Adrian Sutil will drop back to 20th following a gearbox change, while Pic and Bianchi will be 21st and 22nd following grid drops from Korea.

At the front however we are set for a Red Bull confrontation on Sunday with the potential for Vettel to claim his fourth world title but Webber will also want to claim a win at Suzuka before he retires, promises to be an exciting race.

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