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RACE START: Watch the drama at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix as Verstappen fends off McLarens

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It was a chaotic start at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix as pole-sitter Max Verstappen kept a hold of his lead. While the championship leader led, there was plenty of action at the back of the field that required the deployment of the Safety Car.

Verstappen narrowly kept a hold of the lead from Oscar Piastri, with the Australian driver then losing out to his McLaren team mate, Lando Norris, on the run down to Turn 1, with the Briton even having a look at his Red Bull rival in the opening exchanges.

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However, there was drama further behind, starting with Sergio Perez, who made a slow start from fifth and sustained damage to his front wing after hitting Lewis Hamilton on the run down to Turn 1.

As well as that, there was also a heavy collision at the back involving Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon, and the Alfa Romeos of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu. The Finn was forced to retire later, with the rest able to continue on, albeit with Albon sustaining damage to his floor.

To relive the dramatic start to this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, click on the video player above and follow our live coverage here to see how the rest of the action unfolds.

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