2024 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying results (Suzuka)

Thomas Maher

Here are the complete results from the qualifying hour at the Suzuka circuit ahead of Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Red Bull has locked out the front row for the 2024 Japanese GP, with Max Verstappen coming out on top of a thrilling intra-team battle as Sergio Perez brought the fight to the reigning World Champion in Q3. McLaren’s Lando Norris will start from third place on the grid.

Q3:

The first flying laps of Q3 saw the two Mercedes drivers go quickest as Lewis Hamilton had the measure of George Russell, but it was Max Verstappen who proved untouchable as he popped in a 1:28.240 to go half a second clear of Hamilton.

Hamilton then dropped down the order to sixth as McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, and Lando Norris all went quicker – Norris moving into second place as he went a quarter of a second slower than Verstappen.

With Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc holding off to do an offset run, it was Verstappen quickest on 1:28.240, 0.249 clear of Norris, with Perez in third a further tenth behind.

Leclerc’s one and only attempt was only good enough for seventh, despite setting the fastest middle sector, leaving the Monegasque to trundle back to the pits as the others came out to start their final push laps.

Both Red Bulls improved on the final laps, with Verstappen and Perez trading fastest sectors – the Dutch driver coming out on top by just 0.066 seconds as the Red Bulls locked out the front row.

Lando Norris clinched third on the grid with his best time 0.292 down on Verstappen, while Australian GP winner Sainz was fourth.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso improved to fifth on his final lap, ahead of Oscar Piastri, Lewis Hamilton, and Leclerc dropping down to eighth at the chequered flag. The top 10 was rounded out by Mercedes’ George Russell and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda.

  1. 1. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:28.197
  2. 2. Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.066
  3. 3. Lando Norris McLaren +0.292
  4. 4. Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.485
  5. 5. Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.489
  6. 6. Oscar Piastri McLaren +0.563
  7. 7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.569
  8. 8. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.589
  9. 9. George Russell Mercedes +0.811
  10. 10. Yuki Tsunoda RB +1.216

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Q2:

Verstappen and Perez set the eye-catching times of Q2, separated by just 0.012 seconds as the duo circulated on new soft tyres at the start of the session.

Red Bull opted not to send their drivers out for a second run, while Mercedes sent theirs out on used softs for the first run before a new soft tyre set for the final runs – Hamilton moving up to third as a result, with Russell going seventh.

With Lance Stroll knocked out in Q1, Fernando Alonso placed his Aston Martin fifth in Q2 and just behind McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Eliminated were RB’s Daniel Ricciardo in 11th, who had a spirited exchange with teammate Yuki Tsunoda to fight over the final spot in Q3 – the home favourite coming out on top on that run.

Nico Hulkenberg was 12th, having had his first run deleted for exceeding track limits, while Valtteri Bottas couldn’t repeat the heroics he showed in Q1 as he was knocked out in 13th.

Alex Albon was 14th for Williams, with Esteban Ocon the slowest in Q2 with a time a second off the pace of the Red Bulls.

  1. 1. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:28.740
  2. 2. Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.012
  3. 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.147
  4. 4. Lando Norris McLaren +0.200
  5. 5. Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.342
  6. 6. Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.359
  7. 7. George Russell Mercedes +0.400
  8. 8. Oscar Piastri McLaren +0.408
  9. 9. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.456
  10. 10. Yuki Tsunoda RB +0.677
  11. 11. Daniel Ricciardo RB +0.732
  12. 12. Nico Hulkenberg Haas +0.754
  13. 13. Valtteri Bottas Sauber +0.853
  14. 14. Alex Albon Williams +0.974
  15. 15. Esteban Ocon Alpine +1.076

Q1:

Verstappen set the fastest time of Q1, popping in a 1:28.866 on the first run to go almost four-tenths of a second clear of Alonso and Perez.

With track evolution seeing the times dropping rapidly in the final minutes of the session, it resulted in Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll being knocked out in 16th, ahead of Pierre Gasly in 17th as the Alpine driver complained about a lack of traction from his car.

Kevin Magnussen was also knocked out in 18th for Haas, ahead of Logan Sargeant for Williams in 19th, and Zhou Guanyu for Sauber in 20th.

In the midfield, Valtteri Bottas popped in a stunning final lap to escape the drop zone and move to eighth place, while Daniel Ricciardo had the measure of Yuki Tsunoda to pip the Japanese driver by half a tenth.

  1. 1. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:28.866
  2. 2. Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.388
  3. 3. Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.437
  4. 4. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.472
  5. 5. Oscar Piastri McLaren +0.559
  6. 6. Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.647
  7. 7. Lando Norris McLaren +0.670
  8. 8. Valtteri Bottas Sauber +0.736
  9. 9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.795
  10. 10. Daniel Ricciardo RB +0.861
  11. 11. Yuki Tsunoda RB +0.909
  12. 12. George Russell Mercedes +0.933
  13. 13. Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.945
  14. 14. Nico Hulkenberg Haas +0.955
  15. 15. Alex Albon Williams +1.097
  16. 16. Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1.158
  17. 17. Pierre Gasly Alpine +1.253
  18. 18. Kevin Magnussen Haas +1.265
  19. 19. Logan Sargeant Williams +1.273
  20. 20. Zhou Guanyu Sauber +1.277

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