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Max Verstappen

Verstappen explains moment that could cost him Suzuka pole

The Red Bull driver appeared to lose control of his RB18 on an out-lap at the beginning of Q3, causing Lando Norris to take avoiding action.

Verstappen Japan
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To news overview © Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen claimed pole at Suzuka but it looks like it could be under threat as he is investigated by the stewards for a move on Lando Norris in the opening stages of the final part of qualifying.

The Red Bull driver was getting ready for a lap going through the high speed 130R corner, when he nearly spun and had to regain control of his car before the final corner.

Norris was approaching and had to take avoiding action off the track, forcing him to abort his next lap as he went past.

Verstappen blames cold tyres for the incident which he apologised for on the next lap by appearing to put his hand out to the cockpit at Norris.

"I was just driving quite slow and I wanted to accelerate but my tyres were quite cold, so then I had a big moment," he told media.

"Then of course Lando is trying to pass me at the same time so he's trying to avoid [my car]."

Brake duct damage stopped improvement

Verstappen believes that damage to his brake ducts stopped him from being able to improve his lap time at the end of Q3, however it turned out not to be necessary as his provisional pole lap time was good enough.

He added: "I lost a part of the [brake] duct so that's probably why I couldn't improve, never the less the first lap was good enough.

"It was pretty incredible to drive here again, on low fuel these cars really come alive through the first sector. Of course super happy to be on pole but in general super happy to be here."

F1 2022 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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