Max Verstappen has revealed the doubt he had as to if Red Bull would be back on form for the Japanese Grand Prix after its Suzuka blip.
The Red Bull driver lost his 10 race winning streak in Singapore as Red Bull was off the pace, but he has roared back into top form at Suzuka.
Verstappen comfortably topped all three practice sessions and two of the three qualifying segments, only being pipped by Charles Leclerc in Q2.
In the end, Verstappen's ninth pole of the season and 29th of his career was secured by a hefty 0.581s over Oscar Piastri, and was nearly seven-tenths up on team-mate Sergio Perez, who could only manage fifth, but it wasn't all plain-sailing.
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"We had a bad weekend in Singapore, but I felt from the preparation we had that this was going to be a good track," Verstappen explained.
"But of course you never really know how good it is going to be, but from lap one, [the car has] been really nice.
"You try and find little improvements here and there, and I think we did that.
"To be on pole here is fantastic, and I want to say a big thank you to all the fans who have been supporting us the whole weekend, with everyone being so passionate about Formula 1.
"So thank you very much for coming.
"From our side, it's been a weekend so far, and especially in qualifying, where you can really push it to the limit it, and it felt really really nice."