Formula 1, Verstappen reacts and takes pole in Japan. Ferraris delayed


By John

Max Verstappen immediately reacts to Ferrari's one-two in Australia and scores his fourth consecutive pole in the Japanese Grand Prix. Tomorrow at 7am Italian time the Red Bull world champion will start ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez (just 66 thousandths of a second behind in qualifying). The two reds are distant: fourth position for Carlos Sainz, eighth for Charles Leclerc.
Lando Norris on McLaren set the third fastest time, almost 3 tenths of a second. Leclerc will start behind Fernando Alonso (fifth), Oscar Piastri (sixth) and Lewis Hamilton (seventh). The Monegasque driver was never able to find the right rhythm and team principal Fred Vasseur complained about set-up problems, especially in a specific sector of the track.
“It's honestly all that can be done at the moment,” a dejected Leclerc admitted on the radio after crossing the finish line. «I have no explanation at the moment», added the Monegasque, «I think that even with a second fast attempt in Q3 I wouldn't have done much better, I put all my best corners on that last lap in Q3, when I usually do that time comes, also because the feeling wasn't that bad, but the level of grip that the tire gave me wasn't enough.” How to fix it? «We are working – said Charles – each team gets the tire to temperature in a different way. I have no regrets, today I didn't have more, we have to work on improving tire preparation.”
Sainz was more satisfied but admitted that the data will have to be analyzed to “understand what didn't work on the last lap in Q3″. «I had the feeling that it was a clean attempt and that I could have at least repeated the same time as at the beginning of the session, but I wasn't able to do it», he explained, «I felt that the car was sliding a little more in the first part of the lap, but still Norris' McLaren was two tenths ahead. It's a world at Suzuka, so I'm still satisfied with Q3 and starting fourth.”
The Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc will start from the dirty side of the track and therefore will have to dodge possible overtaking, in the case of the Spaniard by his friend and compatriot Fernando Alonso.