Any doubts about Red Bull‘s performance and issues related to ‘flexi-wings’ were well and truly put to bed on Saturday when Max Verstappen blew the competition out the water with phenomenal lap time to take first position on the starting grid for the 2023 Japanes GP.
Verstappen had been head and shoulders above the rest of the field in Suzuka, topping all three practice sessions, then opening a 0.581s gap to Oscar Piastri in the McLaren who starts second on the grid. Lando Norris will line up in third position.
Even the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc couldn’t get close to the Dutchman and he starts in fourth position. Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez placed his car in fifth position on the grid, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz just behind in sixth place.
Next up are the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who are seventh and eighth on the grid, respectively. Then comes hometown hero Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri in ninth place, with Fernando Alonso rounding out the top 10 in the Aston Martin.
2023 Japanese GP starting grid
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull|
|10||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin|
|16||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo|
|17||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin|
|19||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo|
Logan Sargeant – Setup of the car has been changed while under Parc Fermé. Required to start race from the pit lane.