Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2024

Verstappen admits pole lap wasn’t perfect after being “quite close” with Perez

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

Japanese Grand Prix pole winner Max Verstappen admits his best lap in Q3 was not a perfect one after only just beating his team mate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen secured pole at Suzuka by less than a tenth of a second from Perez, the closest margin of the season so far.

After completing his pole lap, Verstappen admitted to race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase that he had “lost it a bit at the end” due to his front tyres fading by the time he reached the final corners. Despite not having a flawless lap, Verstappen secured his fourth consecutive pole position of the season.

“It was quite close at the end,” he said. “I think, overall, this track is very sensitive with the tyres, with the Tarmac being really aggressive. When you really want to go to the limit, it doesn’t always work out.

“But nevertheless, I think what’s important is to be on pole. Of course you want every lap to be perfect, but around a track like this, that’s not always the case. But overall, a very good day, a good starting position for tomorrow and, of course, tomorrow is what counts.”

After just missing out on pole, Perez agreed with his team mate about the challenge of keeping tyres alive over the full lap.

“It was close today. Really close with Max,” said Perez.

“It felt like a good lap. It was quite tricky out there, actually, especially closing out the laps. It was quite easy to lose a couple of tenths into the last section, into the chicane. So we hooked it up altogether, but unfortunately it was just not enough.”

Despite having clinched an all-Red Bull front row for his team, Perez admits he feels the team may not be as dominant in the race as many might expect.

“I think we are in a good position for tomorrow,” he said. “I think our long run pace hasn’t been that strong this morning, but we were quite upbeat. So hopefully tomorrow we will be able to be strong.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2024 Japanese Grand Prix

Browse all 2024 Japanese Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

5 comments on “Verstappen admits pole lap wasn’t perfect after being “quite close” with Perez”

  1. I mean, you instantly know that whenever Perez is within .3s of Verstappen, that Verstappen left lap time on the table. Hardly a shocking revelation by any stretch.

  2. The above image would be a fitting choice for the next Caption Competition post.

    1. @jerejj
      Despite trying, Max is struggling to give Perez a thumb up for his effort!

Comments are closed.