Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi will start the Japanese race from seventh after the FIA released the provisional grid for Sunday’s event at Suzuka. Along with Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher and Renault duo Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov, Kobayashi didn’t set a time during Q3 and was originally classified in tenth.
But the FIA sporting regulations split those who don’t record a time during qualifying sessions into three categories to determine the grid order. Drivers who attempt to set a time by starting a flying lap are ordered first, followed by drivers who leave their garage but don’t start a flying lap and finally drivers who stay in their garage. Within each group, drivers are then arranged in numerical order.
Unlike Schumacher, Senna and Petrov who didn’t complete qualifying attempts, Kobayashi did start a flying lap which he subsequently aborted. Thus Kobayashi and Schumacher will make up the fourth row in seventh and eighth respectively, while Senna and Petrov will be on the grid’s fifth row in ninth and tenth.