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Max Verstappen

Verstappen pleased to survive 'quite close' pole fight

Max Verstappen took his third consecutive pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix, besting team-mate Sergio Perez to the top spot.

Verstappen Qualifying Japan
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen took pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez, describing the outing as a “close” affair.

The Dutchman bagged his fifth consecutive pole position but narrowly avoided having his streak ended by Perez, who was just 0.066s behind the three-time world champion.

It is set to be the Mexican driver's first front-row start since last year's Belgian Grand Prix.

Red Bull fended off the competition from its rivals behind, with Lando Norris securing third for McLaren, three-tenths down on the Milton Keynes-based squad.

Reflecting on the session, Verstappen described that perfecting a lap around the Suzuka Circuit is a hugely difficult task.

“It was quite close at the end,” he said. “I think overall, this track is quite sensitive to tyres with the Tarmac being really aggressive.

“When you always want to go to the limit it doesn’t always work out. But the most important thing is to be on pole, of course you want every lap to be perfect but around a track like this, that’s not always the case.

“Overall a very good day, a good starting position for tomorrow and of course tomorrow is what counts.

“It’s great as a team to be P1 and P2 and hopefully we can keep that going for tomorrow.”

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying