Formula 1: Double pole makes Red Bull confident

The last time Red Bull had a double lead when the starting lights changed was at the start of the season last year. “That gives you security,” said Verstappen happily after qualifying. “It was a very good day, tomorrow it counts.” He also honored Perez’s performance: “It’s great for the team to start from first and second. Hopefully it will continue like this in the race.”

Perez was last on the front row of the grid in Miami in 2023, 21 races ago. “I have to think back for a long time,” said Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko in an ORF interview about the Mexican’s strong performance. “Perez was better than expected, he improved incredibly.”

Verstappen wins next qualifying

Red Bull star Max Verstappen is still unbeatable in qualifying. The world champion also grabbed pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday and will also start the fourth race of the season on Sunday from first place on the grid.

Marko special praise for Perez

The 80-year-old Styrian cited the changed attitude as the reason: Perez no longer tries to go his own technical way. “The cars are almost identical in their set-up, that’s what ultimately matters.” The main reason for Red Bull’s dominance in Japan is that the team immediately made the update they brought with them work. This should now also pay off in the race.

“It was very close with Max, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough in the end,” said Perez, who narrowly missed out on the best starting position. “I thought that pole position would be possible.” Even if it wasn’t quite enough, the 34-year-old was confident: “We will definitely be strong.”

Red Bull dominates qualifying in Suzuka

At the Japanese Grand Prix, world champion Max Verstappen took pole position ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez. For Red Bull it was the 99th pole in the history of the racing team. Lando Norris will start from third place in the McLaren.

World Cup fight still exciting for now

In the World Championship standings, Verstappen, who recently retired early at the Grand Prix in Australia due to a defective brake, leads with 51 points, just ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (47) and Perez (46). In the past two years, the Red Bull star has confidently won in Japan, and for the third time in a row he is starting the race from the best starting position on the high-speed circuit in Suzuka.

more on the subject

World Cup standings and calendar

Melbourne winner Carlos Sainz took fourth place on the grid behind Lando Norris in the McLaren, but the Ferrari driver doesn’t have high hopes of a victory on Sunday. “I hope that we can fight in the race. “That was impossible in qualifying,” said the Spaniard. “I think the Red Bulls are unfortunately in a league of their own on rough asphalt. But I hope we can fight for the podium.”

Leclerc had to make do with eighth place on the grid in the second Ferrari; he has mixed feelings about the team’s current performance: “We can still improve a little bit, but it’s the same in every qualifying: if I trust my feeling, that’s what I say At the end of the lap I said to myself, ‘Okay, that was a good lap’, but then I look at the results list and I’m a second behind again.”

Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka

Starting line-up: 1. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull 2. Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull 3. Lando Norris GBR McLaren 4. Carlos Sainz ESP Ferrari 5. Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin 6. Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren 7. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 8. Charles Leclerc MON Ferrari 9. George Russell GBR Mercedes 10. Yuki Tsunoda JPN RB 11. Daniel Ricciardo AUS RB 12. Nico Hülkenberg GER Haas 13. Valtteri Bottas FIN Kick Sauber 14. Alexander Albon THA Williams 15. Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine 16. Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin 17. Pierre Gasly FRA Alpine 18. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas 19. Logan Sargeant USA Williams 20. Zhou Guanyu CHN Kick Sauber


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