Max Verstappen Leads Red Bull Front Row Lock Out At Suzuka

Max Verstappen Leads Red Bull Front Row Lock Out At Suzuka
Max Verstappen Leads Red Bull Front Row Lock Out At Suzuka

Max Verstappen secured pole position for the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, edging out his teammate Sergio Pérez by just under six-hundredths of a second, giving Red Bull Racing a front-row lockout. Lando Norris of McLaren qualified third, followed by Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin.

During the first qualifying session (Q1), Verstappen led with a time of 1:28.866, which was more than four tenths faster than Pérez. Charles Leclerc of Ferrari moved up to fourth place towards the end of Q1. The session concluded without any runs from the top eight drivers in the final moments.

In the second qualifying session (Q2), Verstappen maintained the lead with a lap time of 1:28.740, closely followed by Pérez. The top six drivers opted not to run in the final stages of Q2, conserving their positions. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes advanced to third place, improving significantly.

The final qualifying session (Q3) saw Verstappen post a leading time of 1:28.240, with Pérez improving his time to secure a front-row start, his first since the previous year’s Belgian Grand Prix. Norris slotted into third, splitting the Red Bull drivers temporarily.

Verstappen’s final lap time of 1:28.197 in Q3 gave the Dutchman his 36th career pole position, continuing his streak from last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Norris, Sainz, Alonso, Piastri, Hamilton, Leclerc, Russell, and Tsunoda rounded out the top ten.

After qualifying, Verstappen was happy but felt there is still work to do… “Overall, in qualifying the laps have been very nice and it was a great result for the Team. In the last lap I tried to push a bit more and I was gaining quite nicely in sector one, but ran out of tyres at the end so lost a bit of time which was a shame. We have to work on our long runs as we have not been fully happy with these and still feel like we can work to control the balance of the car a bit more. It wasn’t perfect, but to still be on pole on a lap that I felt like could have been better, is great. We made some good changes within the car and I really enjoyed sector one; around here it is really fun to drive and the car is improving every year, especially in the high speed. All in all, the Team has a front row start, which is a perfect start to the race tomorrow, but I expect it to be very competitive. It is great to be here, the support is always amazing and hopefully we can give the fans a good race.”

Watch: 5 Things We Learned From 2024 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying Edition

2024 Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying Results

1Max VerstappenRed Bull1:28.197
2Sergio PérezRed Bull1:28.263+0.066
3Lando NorrisMcLaren1:28.489+0.292
4Carlos SainzFerrari1:28.682+0.485
5Fernando AlonsoAston Martin1:28.686+0.489
6Oscar PiastriMcLaren1:28.760+0.563
7Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:28.766+0.569
8Charles LeclercFerrari1:28.786+0.589
9George RussellMercedes1:29.008+0.811
10Yuki TsunodaRB1:29.413+1.216
11Daniel RicciardoRB1:29.472+1.275
12Nico HülkenbergHaas1:29.494+1.297
13Valtteri BottasSauber1:29.593+1.396
14Alexander AlbonWilliams1:29.714+1.517
15Esteban OconAlpine1:29.816+1.619
16Lance StrollAston Martin1:30.024+1.827
17Pierre GaslyAlpine1:30.119+1.922
18Kevin MagnussenHaas1:30.131+1.934
19Logan SargeantWilliams1:30.139+1.942
20Zhou GuanyuSauber1:30.143+1.946


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