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F1 ROOKIE joins Verstappen on the front row for Japanese GP after qualifying

F1 ROOKIE joins Verstappen on the front row for Japanese GP after qualifying

F1 News

F1 ROOKIE joins Verstappen on the front row for Japanese GP after qualifying

F1 ROOKIE joins Verstappen on the front row for Japanese GP after qualifying

Max Verstappen stormed home to take a dominant pole position during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.

He was 0.581 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger Oscar Piastri, the biggest gulf since Michael Schumacher's blistering effort around the same track in 2004, with the other McLaren of Lando Norris in third.

Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez could only manage fifth, sandwiched between the two Ferraris. Nevertheless, Red Bull look in scintillating form and can wrap up the 2023 constructors' championship this weekend.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Verstappen setup quirk which allows Red Bull to make car even fasters

Back with a bang

Following a disappointing weekend last time out at the Singapore GP, when Verstappen and Perez could only qualify 11th and 13th before finishing fifth and eighth, the team appeared to be back to their supreme best in Suzuka.

Having led every practice session throughout the weekend, Verstappen made his dominant pace count, coming in over seven-tenths faster than Perez.

READ MORE: Sargeant suffers NIGHTMARE qualifying as Q1 crash causes red flag

Oscar Piastri secured himself a spot on the front row

Mercedes woes

Mercedes have looked off the pace at Suzuka

Mercedes have looked off the pace all weekend, and both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have struggled to get the best out of the car, compared to last weekend when they were capable of challenging for the win in Singapore.

Hamilton out-qualified Russell, but neither man will be happy down in seventh and eighth.

More misery for Sargeant

Q1 had been underway for less than 10 minutes when Logan Sargeant, on his first flying lap, got onto the grass at turn 18 and slammed into the barriers, completely destroying his Williams.

The team will now have a huge job on their hands to get the car rebuilt and ready for Sunday's race, where Sargeant will be starting right at the back of the grid.

It's the second time in the last four races that he has crashed out of qualifying, and mistakes during races have been fairly common too.

The pressure on the young American will now be ramped up as he looks to secure his seat at the top table for 2024.

F1 Qualifying Results: Japanese Grand Prix 2023

1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] 1:28.877s

2. Oscar Piastri [McLaren] +0.581s

3. Lando Norris [McLaren] +0.616s

4. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] +0.665s

5. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] +0.773s

6. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] +0.973s

7. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] +1.031s

8. George Russell [Mercedes] +1.342s

9. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] +1.426s

10. Fernando Alonso [Aston Martin] +1.683s


11. Liam Lawson [AlphaTauri]

12. Pierre Gasly [Alpine]

13. Alex Albon [Williams]

14. Esteban Ocon [Alpine]

15. Kevin Magnussen [Haas]


16. Valtteri Bottas [Alfa Romeo]

17. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin]

18. Nico Hulkenberg [Haas]

19. Zhou Guanyu [Alfa Romeo]

20. Logan Sargeant [Williams]

READ MORE: Unstoppable Verstappen is a MAJOR PROBLEM for F1

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