Sports Writing (EFE).- Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), outstanding leader of the Formula 1 World Championship, will start first this Sunday from the Japanese Grand Prix, the eighteenth of the championship, which takes place on the Suzuka circuit.
Spaniards Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) finished third and seventh respectively, a qualifying session that Mexican Sergio Pérez, companion of ‘Mad Max’, finished fourth.
Verstappen, 25, achieved the eighteenth ‘pole’ since racing in F1 – the fifth of the season – by covering, in his best attempt, with the soft tire, the 5,807 meters of the Japanese track in one minute, 29 seconds and 304 thousandths, ten less than the Monegasque Charles Leclerc and with 57 more than the other Ferrari, that of the Spaniard Carlos Sainz.
Sainz will start from the second row, alongside ‘Checo’, who was 405 thousandths behind his Dutch team-mate, for whom his first attempt on lap three (Q3) was enough – a piece of the car came off on the second – to sign a “pole” from which he will try to get out of the revalidation of the mathematically condemned title this same Sunday, with four races to be contested before the conclusion of the World Championship.
Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and seven-time English world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) will start from third place, who finished the main timed session in fifth and sixth position respectively.
Alonso will start seventh
Alonso, who among his 32 victories won two in Japan (2006 and 2008) will start seventh. The double Asturian world champion will start from the fourth row, in which he will be accompanied by the other Englishman of Mercedes, George Russell, who signed the eighth time of the “quali”.
Starting from the fifth row will be four-time German world champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Englishman Lando Norris (McLaren), who finished qualifying in ninth and tenth position respectively.
Verstappen will be mathematically champion again this Sunday if he wins the race with the fastest lap, if he wins and Leclerc does not finish second; or if he adds eight points more than the Monegasque and six more than the “Czech” from Suzuka.
Carlos Sainz: I’m tired of staying half a tenth off pole
Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), fifth in the Formula 1 World Championship, who will start third in the Japanese Grand Prix, the eighteenth in the championship, said this Saturday on the Suzuka circuit that he was “fed up to stay » half-tenth. of the ‘pole'” and that he hopes “to have one before the end of the season”.
“My last attempt was a good lap, a clean lap until the exit of the last chicane, in which I made a small mistake and lost a tenth, or even a tenth and a half; which made me lose the “perch”. I stayed half a tenth, but the truth is I’m tired of staying half a tenth from the ‘pole’,” Sainz said during the official FIA press conference. de l’Automobile) which took place this Saturday at Suzuka.
Gasly replaces Alonso at Alpine
On the other hand, the Frenchman Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) will be, from next year, the replacement for the Spaniard Fernando Alonso – who is leaving for Aston Martin – within the Alpine team, as announced this Saturday on the circuit of Suzuka, from here the framework of the Grand Prix of Japan, the eighteenth of the World Championship of Formula 1.
Likewise, it was announced that the Dutchman Nyck de Vries will take his place in the Alpha Tauri car which will be released by Gasly, one of the drivers eliminated this Saturday in the first qualifying round of the Japanese Grand Prix, recovered after two years . of absence, due to the covid-19 pandemic.
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