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Verstappen Pole at Japan GP A Swift Comeback

Verstappen’s Pole at Japan GP: A Swift Comeback

06/04/2024

Max Verstappen withstands the challenges from his competitors and secures pole position at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix. The Dutchman edges out his teammate Sergio Pérez by 66 thousandths of a second.

After the first set of fast laps, Max Verstappen leads with a time of 1’28″866. No other driver manages to break the 89-second barrier per lap, with Fernando Alonso being the closest of the Dutchman’s rivals, yet trailing by nearly four-tenths. Mercedes confirms its good form from EL3, while Ferrari faces concerns: Carlos Sainz is over six-tenths behind Verstappen, and Charles Leclerc is a full second off…

In the minutes before the session ends, Pierre Gasly, Nico Hülkenberg, Logan Sargeant, Kevin Magnussen, and Zhou Guanyu are in the danger zone. Williams gambles by releasing its drivers earlier to avoid pit exit traffic and to benefit from a better warm-up lap, despite a less optimal track, a move that pays off for Alexander Albon, who advances to Q2. Esteban Ocon takes his Alpine into Q2 for the second consecutive time, and Lance Stroll is the biggest loser: the Canadian is eliminated while his teammate secures second place!

Already fast in Q1, Verstappen further asserts his dominance in Q2 with a time of 1’28″740. However, this time, the competition is closer. Sergio Pérez is just 12 thousandths behind, Lando Norris is two-tenths back but holds the fastest time in the first sector. Alonso and Sainz round out a top 5 separated by less than four-tenths. For the Mercedes drivers, though, the gap to the leader is one second.

The second attempts see Lewis Hamilton climb to third, more than a tenth behind. George Russell also improves, but it’s not enough to make the top 5. Behind them, Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo alternately occupy the last qualifying spot for Q3, but Yuki Tsunoda surpasses them by a mere handful of thousandths!

Verstappen had the best times in Q1 and Q2, but the gaps narrowed as qualifying progressed, keeping the battle for pole position open. Hamilton takes the lead with a time of 1’28″766, but neither Russell nor Alonso can surpass it. Yet, it’s not enough to dethrone Verstappen, who posts a time of 1’28″240 on the line!

Norris secures provisional second place, over two-tenths behind, thus splitting the two Red Bull drivers. Sainz takes fourth, Piastri fifth, while Leclerc remains in the garage: he will have only one lap to qualify.

The Monegasque manages only the seventh-fastest time, half a second off, as the other nine drivers leave the pits for the final charge. Pérez closes to within a few thousandths of his teammate, who lowers the benchmark to 1’28″197. Norris moves to the second row, in third place, ahead of Sainz and Alonso. Piastri, Hamilton, Leclerc, Russell, and Tsunoda round out the top 10.

2024 F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying Results

Pos.DriverTeamQ1Q2Q3
01Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:28.8061:28.7401:28.197
02Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:29.3031:28.7521:28.263
03Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:29.5361:28.9401:28.489
04Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:29.5131:29.0991:28.682
05Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:29.2541:29.0821:28.686
06Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:29.4251:29.1481:28.760
07Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:29.6611:28.8871:28.766
08Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:29.3381:29.1961:28.786
09George RussellMercedes W151:29.7991:29.1401:29.008
10Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:29.7751:29.4171:29.413
—————-————————-———-———-
11Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:29.7271:29.472
12Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:29.8211:29.494
13Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:29.6021:29.593
14Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:29.9631:29.714
15Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:29.8111:29.816
—————-————————-———-———-
16Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:30.024
17Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A5241:30.119
18Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:30.131
19Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:30.139
20Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:30.143

Verstappen’s Pole at Japan GP: A Swift Comeback. Verstappen’s Pole at Japan GP: A Swift Comeback

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