Mclaren seemed to be the favorite at Suzuka, by dominating all of the practice sessions and parts of qualifying. Hamilton set the pace for qualifying, with Button and Vettel hot on his trail. In Q3, Vettel took advantage of Hamilton's snoozing mistake and took pole a few seconds after the checkered flag, with a 1:30.466. Jensen Button finished second, just .009 sec behind Vettel.
Hamilton took third unable to improve his first time after he failed to set a second hot lap, when he was caught sleeping by Red Bull's Mark Webber and Schumacher and overtook him on the last chicane.
Ferrari's Massa starts along side Hamilton in 4th, Alonso and Webber start on the 3rd row in 5th and 6th.
Michael Schumacher will start seventh, with Bruno Senna eighth, Vitaly Petrov ninth and Kamui Kobayashi tenth. Even though all four failed to set a time in order to save tires for the race. Their positions were decided by sector times as none of the four completed a lap
Ross Brawn, team principal
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 01:30.466 14
2. Jenson Button McLaren 01:30.475 14
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 01:30.617 14
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 01:30.804 15
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 01:30.886 13
6. Mark Webber Red Bull 01:31.156 14
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes no time 10
8. Bruno Senna Lotus Renault no time 12
9. Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault no time 17
10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber no time 15
11. Adrian Sutil Force India 01:32.463 14
12. Paul di Resta Force India 01:32.746 10
13. Rubens Barrichello Williams 01:33.079 13
14. Pastor Maldonado Williams 01:33.224 14
15. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 01:33.227 10
16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 01:33.427 10
17. Sergio Perez Sauber 01:34.704 6
18. Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus 01:35.454 3
19. Jarno Trulli Team Lotus 01:35.514 6
20. Jerome d' Ambrosio Virgin 01:36.439 8
21. Timo Glock Virgin 01:36.507 7
22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT 01:37.846 7
23. Nico Rosberg Mercedes no time 1 lap
24. Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT no time 2 lap.