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.
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.
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.
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