Max Verstappen has taken pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix by over half a second, ahead of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.
Before qualifying took place, there was of course the third and final practice session. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen made it three out of three in terms of topping sessions, ahead of the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez was in fourth, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc completed the top five.
Max Verstappen continued his streak of topping sessions this weekend in Japan as he topped Q1, with Norris and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) making up the top three.
Eliminated in that session were Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) and Logan Sargeant (Williams).
Sargeant brought out a red flag with just over nine minutes remaining on the clock after he crashed his Williams car heavily at the final corner. It was a real disappointment for the American driver, who is still fighting for a race seat at the team next season. Thankfully, he was able to climb out of the car by himself and he made his own way over to the pit lane.
In Q2, Verstappen’s session-topping streak came to an end as Leclerc went fastest, with the Dutch driver in second ahead of his team-mate Perez in third.
It was an incident-free session, with Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri) unlucky to not make it out of the session, being 0.043 seconds behind Fernando Alonso, who claimed the final Q3 spot.
Pierre Gasly (Alpline), Alexander Albon (Williams), Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas) were the other drivers to be eliminated at this stage.
With Max Verstappen setting the pace once against out front, it’s no surprise that the Red Bull driver was able to claim pole position by over half a second.
Joining him on the front row is Oscar Piastri, who equalled his best-ever qualifying performance, but his other front-row start was for a sprint. His team-mate Lando Norris finished third, with Charles Leclerc joining him on the second row.
Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez finished fifth and sixth, with the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell seventh and eighth. Yuki Tsuonda and Fernando Alonso round out the top ten.