Verstappen on pole position as Red Bull dominate Japan quali

Sergio Perez just 0.066s behind his teammate as Red Bull lock out the front row in Suzuka

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 06: A Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing shows their support with a hat made of Red Bull cans prior to qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on April 06, 2024 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202404060157 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen made it four pole positions in four races this year as set the fastest time in qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The reigning champion was pushed hard by his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who was just 0.066s adrift of the Dutchman’s time.

Lando Norris provided the closest challenge to the Red Bulls, securing third to start on the second row alongside Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

While Fernando Alonso showed strong pace in the Aston Martin from the start, his teammate struggled, with Lance Stroll eliminated from qualifying in Q1.

All five drivers knocked out in the first session saw their teammates progress, with Guanyu Zhou and Pierre Gasly both complaining of issues with their cars’ handling.

There was a cheer from the Japanese crowd at the end of Q2 as Yuki Tsunoda secured his spot in the top 10, knocking out his teammate by just 0.05s.

While Sainz starts from row two, Charles Leclerc struggled in Q3 – after just one run in the final part of qualifying he starts four places behind his teammate.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

3. Lando Norris (McLaren)

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

5. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

6. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

7. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

8. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

9. George Russell (Mercedes)

10. Yuki Tsunoda (VCARB)

11. Daniel Ricciardo (VCARB)

12. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

13. Valtteri Bottas (Sauber)

14. Alex Albon (Williams)

15. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

16. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

17. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

18. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

19. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

20. Guanyu Zhou (Sauber)

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