Japanese GP 2022 - Qualifying: Max Verstappen on pole in a very tight battle with Ferrari
After the rain came the sun, and things got back to normal: Max Verstappen won the battle with Ferrari, with Charles Lecelrc locking the second place for tomorrow's grid, and Carlos Sainz finishing in P3.
At last, Suzuka hosted its first qualifying session since 2019, with it being the second dry session of the weekend, as it never stopped raining during FP1 and FP2 on Friday.
Q1: Both AlphaTauri drivers seemed to struggle with some sort of brake issue, as Pierre Gasly said neither him or Tsunoda could build the temperature in the left disc, which lead to lock up on that tyre in the session. Eliminated in Q1: Alex Albon (P16), Pierre Gasly (P17), Kevin Magnussen (P18), Lance Stroll (P19) and Nicholas Latifi (P20).
Q2: Despite Schumacher showing some decent pace in Q1, the German wasn't able to match his pace in this session as well. Eliminated in Q2: Daniel Ricciardo (P11), Valtteri Bottas (P12), Yuki Tsunoda (P13), Zhou Guanyu (P14) and Mick Schumacher (P15).
Q3: A scary moment between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen, as the latter had some oversteer, with Norris just avoiding him, with the stewards investigating the matter after the end of the session.
Max Verstappen clenched the 18th pole position of his career, and his first one in Japan, as Red Bull got their first pole in Japan since 2013 as well. Charles Leclerc came second, with Carlos Sainz right behind him, in P3.
Sergio Perez took another 4th place, ahead of Esteban Ocon in P5, whose effort was massive in that Alpine, hoping to bounce back from Singapore's catastrophic outcome.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton finished in 6th place, with his teammate, George Russell, in P8, split by Fernando Alonso.
Completing the top 10, it was Sebastian Vettel in P9, who thanked the circuit, saying "Arigatou gozaimasu Suzuka, I will miss this place", as Suzuka is one of the German's favourite tracks, and Lando Norris in P10.
Full Qualifying Classification: