Japanese F1 Grand Prix qualifying: reside updates from Suzuka | EUROtoday

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Welcome to our protection for qualifying for the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka. It’s the second time in just a little over six months that Formula One has raced on the storied monitor and that’s no unhealthy factor. For my cash it’s the finest monitor on the calendar and I believe a whole lot of drivers would agree.

We come into this race after a two-week break following the Australian Grand Prix with a slender margin of 4 factors separating Max Verstappen from Charles Leclerc within the drivers’ championship. The identical hole exists between first and second within the constructors’ championship, too, following Red Bull’s poor weekend in Melbourne and Ferrari’s 1-2.

That is all properly and good however does probably not mirror the truth of the aggressive order this 12 months, sadly. Yes, Ferrari might properly have challenged for the win – and certainly gained – with out Verstappen’s retirement a fortnight in the past… however at worst he would have been second, certainly. Still, not less than we didn’t get till September with just one group successful a race as was the case final 12 months.

What to count on from Suzuka? Well, the Red Bull RB20 is an all-round sensible automotive and Suzuka ought to play to its strengths particularly. Verstappen was totally dominant right here final 12 months, successful by an unlimited margin however he believes that the identical won’t be the case this 12 months. Not that he won’t win, however that the margin won’t be so massive. Let’s see… actually the indicators are that Red Bull ought to be the quickest automotive and maybe comfortably once more, as within the two significant follow classes we’ve got had they’ve completed 1-2.

There has been some encouragement for Mercedes, too, and on a monitor they had been anticipated to wrestle. After follow yesterday Lewis Hamilton mentioned it was the group’s finest session of the 12 months they usually appeared to again that up in FP3 earlier right now, ending third and fourth behind Verstappen and Sergio Perez and each vehicles round half a second off Verstappen. Sure, slim pickings however it one thing.

Qualifying begins at 7am BST and we shall be right here for the entire build-up, reside updates and response from it.