Japanese GP 2024

APRIL 6, 2024

Qualifying Report - Verstappen ahead of Perez, Norris

Max Verstappen
© Red Bull

By Peter Habicht

Max Verstappen took his 36th pole position and fourth this season for Red Bull with a fastest time of 1:28.197s, just 0.066s ahead of teammate Sergio Perez in dry conditions for the Japanese GP at the Suzuka circuit.

McLaren's Lando Norris will start from third alongside Ferrari's Carlos Sainz with Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and Norris' teammate Oscar Piastri behind them. Lewis Hamilton was disappointed with his fourth row start but afterwards shared he was much happier with the car and how the team's weekend's been progressing, "…its going to be really close between us all…its very, very close… I know we're seventh, its not the greatest, but we can work from here."

Ferrari's Leclerc will start alongside the Briton, and shared his exasperation after he gave his final run everything on fresh soft tyres telling the team, "That's the best i can do, honestly, I don't get it."

Mercedes' George Russell will start next alongside the home crowd favorite, Team RB's Yuki Tsunoda. Tsunoda said afterwards, "Overall as a team we did a fantastic job, Daniel's right behind me… I think we can play around with strategy… to try to score points..."

Ricciardo showed improvement this weekend despite limited running yesterday and will start alongside Haas' Nico Hulkenberg, who said afterwards, "I was really keen to have a clean [session] and I think we really exploited the maximum out of our package, even if it's really marginal that we missed Q3 as that really was as good as it is for us."

Sauber's Valtteri Bottas was optimistic following a Q2 appearance today to take 13th on the grid, "The Q1 lap was really really sweet… [in] Q2 I tried to find more. All I could find was a few hundredths… but its good to see we're really knocking to door of Q3 this weekend… We can absolutely fight with the cars near us like RB, Williams, Haas… for a few points tomorrow … but for that we need a clean performance from all team members."

Williams' Alex Albon will start alongside the Finnish driver, with Alpine's Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll in the eighth row. Ocon teammate Pierre Gasly starts from 17th with Haas' Kevin Magnussen, Williams' Logan Sargeant and Sauber's Guanyu Zhou bringing up the back of the grid.

The Japanese Grand Prix starts tomorrow at 2pm.