Verstappen: I’m happy because of the pole position and I’m also happy to be back here

Max Verstappen Photo Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen won qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix in Formula 1. The Red Bull driver set an incredibly fast lap in the opening phase of Q3, which was never bettered by his rivals. It was the world champion’s fifth pole position since the start of the season and first at Suzuka.

Verstappen was certainly pleased with first place in the session. The Dutchman showed excellent speed on a dry track after being in the lead and in the third practice in Japan.

“It’s incredible to drive here, especially in qualifying. When you’re on less fuel, the car really comes to life on a track like this. I’m happy because of the pole position and I’m also happy to be back here,” said Verstappen after getting out of his car.

The Red Bull driver recorded the best lap in his first outing on the track. He then revealed why I had not been able to improve my performance.

“I lost part of my air duct. That’s probably why I wasn’t able to improve, but nevertheless the first lap was good enough to send me to pole position.”

At the very start of Q3, Verstappen got right in front of Leclerc and was about to cause danger. He then nearly got punched by Lando Norris. The Briton was moving at a higher speed than the world champion. At one point, Max suddenly changed his direction and almost got hit by his rival.

“I was driving slowly, but I wanted to speed up because my tires were quite cold. I had a big moment because he [Норис] he was driving fast at that moment. So he had to go through the security area and avoid me. Fortunately, nothing happened,” said Verstappen.

Verstappen and Norris were called to the stewards after the end of the session. There is a possibility that the Red Bull driver will be moved a few positions back.

The world champion also commented on his chances of victory and a second world title in tomorrow’s race.

“It will be interesting to see. Some say it will rain, while others call for it to stay dry. We’ll have to see what happens. However, I am convinced that we have a fast car,” added Max Verstappen.

Fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez finished fourth. The Mexican had no answer to Verstappen’s pace and finished more than four tenths behind his time.

“I think it was a great tour by Max. He put all the pieces of the puzzle together at the most important moment. For our part, in Q3 we were not able to find enough speed. In the first speed lap I was a little depressed. Then we lost a few tenths. We could have been ahead. We look forward to seeing what happens tomorrow,” Perez shared.

The 32-year-old is hoping for rain on Sunday as he felt quite comfortable at the wet Suzuka track.

“Rain would be a good option. This can mix things up. It will also be nicer for the fans. Let’s see what happens tomorrow,” added the Red Bull driver.

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