FUJI, Japan, Sep 30 (Reuters) The Japanese Grand Prix started behind the safety car today due to steady rain and standing water on the track.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who leads double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso by two points in the championship with two races remaining after Fuji, was on pole position with Alonso second and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen third.
Even behind the safety car, some drivers were caught out by the slippery conditions with Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa skidding wide at the second corner and then pitting for a change of tyres.
Raikkonen also pitted to change his tyres with the rain showing no sign of letting up.
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