HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from qualifying in Japan as Verstappen dominates to take pole position
Max Verstappen was in scintillating form on Saturday afternoon at Suzuka as he blitzed the rest of the field to take pole position in Japan. The Red Bull driver took a 29th pole of his F1 career ahead of his McLaren rivals Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.
Already on provisional pole by over four tenths, the two-time world champion improved on his final lap to set a time of 1m 28.877s, beating Piastri by 0.581s. Norris wound up third for McLaren, 0.035s off Piastri’s time.
Charles Leclerc was the lead Ferrari in fourth with Carlos Sainz in sixth, as the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez was sandwiched between the Scuderia pair in fifth – with Perez finishing 0.773s off his team mate, Verstappen’s pole-sealing time.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were seventh and eighth, respectively, for Mercedes, ahead of home favourite Yuki Tsunoda, who was ninth for AlphaTauri, while Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso rounded out the top-10.
Click on the video player above to relive the action from an entertaining qualifying battle in Japan, as Verstappen seals a ninth pole position of the year.