Japan, EL3: Verstappen takes control ahead of qualifying

Japan, EL3: Verstappen takes control ahead of qualifying

Japan, EL3: Verstappen takes the (...)

After a contested first day on a wet track, the drivers were keen to drive around the Suzuka circuit on a dry track. A single hour of testing under these conditions would thus allow preparation for classification.

In fact, the track was swept from the start of PR3 at the Japanese Grand Prix, and the Red Bull drivers quickly moved to the top of the timesheets thanks to the use of slicks. Max Verstappen’s time of 1:32.050 was the benchmark for the first part of the session.

At the time he was ahead of Sergio Pérez and the McLaren F1 drivers, Lando Norris ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, also wearing red rubber on the flanks. Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly provisionally held fifth and sixth on medium tyres, while Carlos Sainz was only eighth on soft tires after being hampered by Charles Leclerc.

The wind picked up and made it difficult for everyone to improve, and the drivers put on the three tire compounds in turn, to evaluate them in the event that the race was held on a dry track.

Lewis Hamilton improved his time to take third place on the soft tyres, sitting just behind Pérez. Valtteri Bottas was fourth before George Russell stepped between the Red Bulls.

The Alpine then occupied the second and third position, Fernando Alonso ahead of Esteban Ocon, with medium tires. At this point in the session, the Ferrari drivers went out on soft rubber. Sainz set the fastest time with 1’30″965, and Leclerc was second, 0″423 behind his teammate.

Verstappen regained third position, while Tsunoda, Hamilton and Gasly moved ahead of Russell. Alex Albon took fourth position on soft tyres. Verstappen and Pérez set the second and fourth fastest times on medium tyres.

The Mercedes F1 drivers set a new time on soft rubber with Russell setting the fourth fastest time. Despite the absolute best first sector, Hamilton was positioned in fifth place.

Lando Norris and Lance Stroll returned to the top 10 (sixth and seventh) on the soft tyres, with Leclerc moving up to within 15 thousandths of a second of Sainz, who, like Verstappen, was back on track.

And the latter took the lead of the session in 1’30″671, shortly before Alonso rose to fourth position. Ocon was in eighth position when Pérez also embarked on a fast lap.

Therefore, it was Verstappen who finished in the lead ahead of the Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc. Alonso is fourth ahead of Perez, Mercedes F1 drivers Norris, Ocon and Stroll. Daniel Ricciardo is 11th ahead of Albon, Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Haas, Mick Schumacher was able to get back behind the wheel after his accident yesterday. Pierre Gasly is the last of these EL3.

position Pilot Car Weather towers
01 max verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:30,671 22
02 Carlos Sainz ferrari f1-75 1:30,965 27
03 Charles Leclerc ferrari f1-75 1:30,980 27
04 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:31,320 twenty
05 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:31,514 25
06 george russell mercedes w13 1:31,530 28
07 Lewis Hamilton mercedes w13 1:31,589 25
08 lando norris McLarenMercedes MCL36 1:31,747 24
09 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:31,750 22
10 spear ride Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:31,838 25
eleven Daniel Ricciardo McLarenMercedes MCL36 1:31,860 28
12 alex albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:31,946 26
13 Valtteri Bottas alfa romeo ferrari c42 1:31,971 24
14 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:32,222 25
fifteen kevin magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:32,290 23
sixteen Mike Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:32,366 24
17 yukitsunoda Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03 1:32,377 26
18 Guanyu-Zhou alfa romeo ferrari c42 1:32,385 24
19 Nicholas Latif Williams Mercedes FW44 1:32,868 26
twenty pierre gasley Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03 1:32,881 24

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