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F1 2023 Japan GP LIVE: Race start time, broadcast and standings as Max Verstappen starts from pole at Suzuka

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Verstappen takes pole at Suzuka as ‘enjoyable’ weekend continues

Max Verstappen set a blistering pace to clear off the challenge of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris and claim pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s record 10 wins and Red Bull’s unbeaten season came to an end in Singapore last weekend.

The Dutchman dominated all three testing sessions at Suzuka, suggesting the Milton Keynes-based team had banished the problems experienced in the city-state.

And Verstappen was imperious on the high-speed corner circuit – where Lewis Hamilton warned the Red Bull would be “phenomenal” – taking pole 0.581 seconds ahead of Piastri.

Follow live updates from the Japanese Grand Prix with The Independent

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Max Verstappen, starting on pole:

“The beginning. It can still be hit or miss, we have a fast race car. A few teams with strategy with the tires. It’s also hot, so tire degradation will be significant.

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:52

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Driver rankings ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix:

1) Max Verstappen – 374 points

2) Sergio Pérez – 223 points

3) Lewis Hamilton – 180 points

4) Fernando Alonso – 170 points

5) Carlos Sainz – 142 points

6) Charles Leclerc – 123 points

7) George Russell – 109 points

8) Lando Norris – 97 points

9) Lance Promenade – 47 points

10) Pierre Gasly – 45 points

11) Oscar Piastri – 42 points

12) Esteban Ocon – 36 points

13) Alex Albon – 21 points

14) Nico Hülkenberg – 9 points

15) Valtteri Bottas – 6 points

16) Zhou Guanyu – 4 points

17) Yuki Tsunoda – 3 points

18) Kevin Magnussen – 3 points

19) Liam Lawson – 2 points

20) Logan Sargeant – 0 points

21) Nyck de Vries – 0 points

22) Daniel Ricciardo – 0 points

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:50

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McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, starting P2:

“It’s pretty hot. The track temperature is quite high, the wind blows at 180°. It sounds silly, but it’s pretty important.

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:49

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It’s time for the Japanese national anthem!

On a beautiful sunny day in Suzuka, it’s time for the Japanese national anthem!

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:47

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What is the starting grid?

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:41

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AlphaTauri confirms driver pairing for 2024 F1 grid

Sister team Red Bull had a tough choice between the duo and Liam Lawson, who has impressed in replacing the injured Ricciardo in the last three races.

But the New Zealander will return to Red Bull in a reserve role – with Ricciardo’s full-time return to F1 confirmed.

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:31

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Will Oscar Piastri be able to take first place before the first corner?

“The first round was pretty solid, I was pretty happy with it. Happy to finish in P2, it’s been a really good weekend for the team so far. Updates on the car are quick. Happy to be second and third, very happy.

“It’s the first time I’ve been on the front row for a while, there’s only one car to overtake so I’ll try and make it.”

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:21

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A sudden fall or just an incident? Max Verstappen provides the answer

Weekend preview by Kieran Jackson

What made last Sunday’s thrilling Singapore Grand Prix so gripping was a true battle at the front: a battle for first place, from lights out to the checkered flag. But that was only made possible thanks to a resounding weekend from runaway manufacturer leaders Red Bull, whose perfect 2023 winning streak came to an abrupt end amid the city-state’s tight twists and turns . However, in Japan, a more conventional circuit, would the status quo be restored?

It certainly seems so. Judging by the early signs from Friday’s free practice at Suzuka – a favorite of drivers on the calendar due to its harrowing high-speed corners – it would be a major shock if Max Verstappen didn’t claim his 11th win in 12 races next Sunday. The flying Dutchman, who is closing in on the final stretch in his unstoppable march towards a hat-trick of world titles, was fastest in both free practice sessions. And from afar too.

Six tenths of a second in FP1, reduced to three tenths in FP2. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris, with unexpected regularity during testing, were next in both sessions.

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 05:12

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Here is the standings for the constructors’ championship:

4) Aston Martin – 217 points

9) Alfa Romeo – 10 points

10) AlphaTauri – 5 points

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 04:56

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Ferrari finally finds its chief strategist – and it’s Carlos Sainz

Analysis by Kieran Jackson

The contractions on the Ferrari pit wall were palpable. With five laps remaining in Sunday’s thrilling Singapore Grand Prix, less than two seconds separated race leader Carlos Sainz, first, and Lewis Hamilton, fourth. Second-placed McLaren’s Lando Norris was closing in, within the critical DRS range of one second. It didn’t take long for Sainz’s race engineer Riccardo Adami to warn: “Lando, 0.8 (seconds) behind with DRS.”

But the Spaniard was one step ahead, deploying a meticulous balancing act that ultimately secured his second Formula 1 victory. “Yeah, that’s on purpose,” he replied. At that moment, everything made sense.

For a team seeking its first victory in over a year, often maligned for its clashes in the strategy department, all that was required was a clear sense of thought and direction from the driver in the cockpit. Sainz wasn’t too concerned about Norris’ pace behind him. Rather, the dual threat posed by Mercedes’ George Russell and Hamilton, who went one second per lap faster on fresh tires in third and fourth, was at the center of his thinking.

What a beautiful balance it was. Keep Norris close enough to him – a second – to give him a crucial speed boost on the straights to defend against Russell, but not so close that Norris himself can make a move for the top spot. In the end, it was a masterstroke that worked to perfection.

Kieran JacksonSeptember 24, 2023 04:45

independent

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