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FACTS AND STATS: Ocon claims second straight Q2 appearance for struggling Alpine as Tsunoda makes top 10 at home

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Sean Kelly
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SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 06: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red

Max Verstappen grabbed his third straight pole position in Suzuka, but the Dutchman didn’t have it all his own way in Japan. He was pushed extremely close by his team mate, while behind there were all sorts of interesting results as some drivers impressed and others struggled. Here are all the best facts and stats from Suzuka qualifying…

  • Red Bull grabbed their 27th front row lock-out, but it was only their third in the last six years after Abu Dhabi in 2022 and Bahrain in 2023.

  • This is the 16th front row lock-out for a constructor in 34 Suzuka F1 races.

  • Verstappen has a run of five consecutive pole positions for the second time in his career – having done likewise between Monaco and Silverstone in 2023.

READ MORE: Verstappen seals pole position for Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Perez and Norris

  • Verstappen was on pole by 0.581s last year, but only 0.066s this year.

  • Sergio Perez grabbed his first ever top-three start at Suzuka in 12 visits.

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 05: Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren looks on in the garage during

Norris lines up third, for the second straight year here

  • Lando Norris was third, qualifying P3 for the second straight year in Suzuka, having also started third in Australia.

  • Carlos Sainz qualified fourth, and has won the race the last two occasions he has out-qualified his team mate. P4 ties his lowest start of the season.

  • The winner at Suzuka has only come from below the front row three times in the last 33 years.

  • Fernando Alonso was fifth, his highest start in Suzuka in the last 10 years.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix

  • Oscar Piastri was sixth, although his Q3 time was 0.698s quicker than last year when he started on the front row.

  • Lewis Hamilton grabbed seventh, his highest starting slot of the season – and the second year in a row he starts P7 here.

  • Charles Leclerc qualified eighth, his worst Suzuka start as a Ferrari driver. He had qualified in the top four at every race this year until this weekend.

  • George Russell’s ninth was his worst qualifying result of the season so far.

  • Yuki Tsunoda reached Q3 yet again – the third consecutive race he has done so, and the second time in a row at his home event. The last time he made three straight Q3 appearances was in the final three races of 2021.

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 06: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on track

Tsunoda gave the home fans something to cheer about by making Q3

  • Daniel Ricciardo’s P11 will be his best start of the season, and was also where he started the last time he raced here in 2022.

  • Nico Hulkenberg’s P12 is his highest Suzuka start since 2017.

  • Valtteri Bottas was 13th, matching his Melbourne performance and Kick Sauber’s highest start of the season.

F1 EXPLAINS: Bottas and Zhou on being team mates – and why that relationship is crucial to success in Formula 1

  • Alex Albon qualified P14, his worst starting position of the season.

  • Esteban Ocon was P15, making it two events in a row he has escaped Q1, while his team mate has been knocked out in Q1 in every race so far this season.

  • Lance Stroll was knocked out in Q1 at Suzuka for the third straight year.

  • Kevin Magnussen was knocked out in Q1 for the first time this year.

  • Logan Sargeant hasn’t made it out of Q1 this year so far, as Zhou Guanyu was the slowest qualifier for the third consecutive race.

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