F1 2023
Round 17

Max Verstappen Took Pole Position for Japanese Grand Prix

jp Suzuka

Round 17 of the season, Japanese Grand Prix is taking place at Suzuka Circuit. Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing, supported by Honda as a Team Partner, took pole position, and Sergio Perez was P5.

Max Verstappen Took Pole Position for Japanese Grand Prix

Scuderia AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda was P9, and Liam Lawson was P11.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 1
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It’s been a crazy weekend so far, we've been on another level. The car was on the rails and I could really push it to the limit. I fully sent it today. When the car is good it makes the track feel even more special, it really bought a big smile to my face. I only had three sets of new tyres so had to be careful with how I used them. Looking ahead to tomorrow, degradation will be high so we need to look after our tyres. It won’t be straightforward that's for sure. The aim is to win the Constructors Championship this weekend, especially on Honda’s home turf.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It wasn’t as straightforward as we were expecting it to be today. I had quite a scrappy qualifying and we have struggled a bit with the balance of the car over the weekend. Ultimately, losing our second set of tyres in Q2 and going into Q3 with a single set really put us on the back foot. We thought we didn’t have the margin, so ultimately it meant that we missed out.  Today wasn’t ideal, but we gave it our very best and I really believe that we can still have a strong race tomorrow. McLaren have a strong race pace, so I think it will be a good battle with them tomorrow. Finally, Max has also been on really good form and we are looking forward to the race day tomorrow; hopefully we can come home with the Championship and finish in P1 and P2 tomorrow.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It’s incredibly special to get through to Q3 at your home Grand Prix. It was the first time in front of the Japanese fans, and the amount of support I felt in my final runs was great. I’ve never felt that kind of support from spectators. A big thank you to them, but an even bigger thanks to my team. It wasn’t easy because we struggled in Free Practice on Friday, but the team did an amazing job of finding improvements. The car was great and really fun to drive, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I haven’t raced with the new package in Singapore, but Liam did a good job last weekend and performed nicely, so I’m not worried about the race. I’ll go out and enjoy tomorrow with all the fans. It will be tricky because tyre degradation seems to be a challenge here, but it’s the same for everyone, so let’s see what we can do. Liam and I are both starting in good positions, so hopefully, we’ll both be able to score points for the team.

Liam Lawson
Liam Lawson 40
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It’s a bit frustrating not making it to Q3 by such a small margin. With the information we had after Free Practice, we weren’t expecting to be super strong, so we went quite aggressive with tyres in Q1 and only had one new set of the soft compound tyres left for Q2. To be honest, I wasn’t super confident before qualifying, so I think we made the right call with the information we had, and Yuki did a great job putting the car in Q3. Now it’s about making the most of tomorrow’s race. I think it will be a long afternoon because the tyres are struggling a lot, but it’s the same for everybody. We have to focus on extracting the maximum out of our package and hopefully, both Yuki and I will have a strong race.

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