Sebastian Vettel led the way in Q1 qualifying with the Red Bull driver ahead of the McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. With Fernando Alonso fourth and Mark Webber fifth the chances of Vettel wrapping up the World Championship on Sunday are slim indeed.
Sixth overall was Nico Rosberg ahead of Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa, Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta.
Eleventh overall was Kamui Kobayashi, ahead of Rubens Barrichello, Sebastien Buemi, Michael Schumacher, Bruno Senna (who escaped missing out on a last minute run), with Jaime Alguersuari and Pastor Maldonado the only two left standing.
Out went Vitaly Petrov, the two Lotuses, the two Virgins and the two HRTs.