Japanese GP: Max Verstappen achieves unique feat

Sergio Perez came in second place to ensure a Red Bull front-row lockout

By Web Desk
April 06, 2024
Verstappen became the first driver to take pole in the opening four races of a season since Lewis Hamilton nine years ago. - Reuters

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen will be on pole position for a third consecutive year at the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday with Sergio Perez in second place to ensure a Red Bull front-row lockout.

McLaren's Lando Norris will begin Sunday's race in third place at the historic Suzuka International circuit.

Verstappen became the first driver to take pole in the opening four races of a season since Lewis Hamilton nine years ago. He will be looking for a third straight victory in Japan in Sunday's race.

"It was very close in the end, nevertheless most importantly to be on pole - of course you want every lap to be perfect but at a track like this it isn't always the case," the Dutchman said after setting the pace with a lap of one minute 28.197 seconds.

“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.”

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz came in fourth, his teammate Charles Leclerc eighth, and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso fifth.

"That's the best I can do. Honestly, I don't get it" Leclerc said over the team radio.

Meanwhile, McLaren's Oscar Piastri finished in sixth ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, whose teammate George Russell was ninth.

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