Verstappen secures Red Bull’s sixth pole in Japan, Mercedes fail to qualify in the top five at Suzuka for the first time since 2012 and Vettel maintains his 100% Q3 record at the circuit. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN ON POLE
Max Verstappen claimed the 18th pole position of his career, equalling Mario Andretti, Rene Arnoux, Kimi Raikkonen and Charles Leclerc for 16th in the all-time list of most pole positions.
Verstappen set the fastest lap time in qualifying by 0.010 seconds, which is the third smallest pole margin ever seen at the Suzuka circuit.
This was the first time Red Bull have been fastest in qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix since 2013. In total, this is the team’s sixth pole position at Suzuka.
Verstappen becomes the 14th different driver to take pole position at Suzuka since the circuit joined the F1 calendar in 1987.
This is the third consecutive race at Suzuka in which a different team has taken pole position. It’s only the third time that three consecutive races at the track have had three different teams on pole. It also happened between 1992 & 1994 and 2005 & 2009.
IN THE TOP 10
Charles Leclerc set the second fastest time in qualifying, making this the second successive Suzuka race for which he starts on the front row.
With third place, Carlos Sainz recorded his best Japanese Grand Prix qualifying result to date. This was the first time he’s qualified in the top six at Suzuka.
Sergio Perez qualified in fourth place, which was the first time he has qualified in the top five at the Japanese Grand Prix.
For the first time since the team was named Lotus in 2013, both Alpine drivers reached Q3 at the Japanese Grand Prix.
With fifth place, Esteban Ocon equalled his best qualifying result of the season. This was the fourth time he has qualified fifth in 2022. It’s his best-ever qualifying result at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton qualified in sixth place, which is his worst qualifying result at Suzuka since 2012.
With Hamilton sixth and George Russell eighth, this was the first time neither Mercedes driver qualified in the top five at the Japanese Grand Prix since 2012.
Fernando Alonso recorded his best Japanese Grand Prix qualifying result since 2014 with seventh place.
Sebastian Vettel maintained his 100% Q3 record at Suzuka. This was Vettel’s fourth Q3 appearance of the 2022 season – his first since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
With ninth place, Vettel equalled his best qualifying result of the season to date. It was the fourth time he qualified ninth this year.
Along with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris also maintained their 100% Q3 appearance record at Suzuka.
OUT IN Q2
With both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu out in Q2, this was the seventh consecutive Japanese Grand Prix at which neither of the former Sauber team’s cars reached Q3.
This was the fifth race in a row at which neither Alfa Romeo driver qualified in the top ten.
Yuki Tsunoda qualified 13th on his first home Grand Prix appearance.
This was the first time since the Belgian Grand Prix that neither AlphaTauri driver appeared in Q3.
OUT IN Q1
Lance Stroll recorded his 59th Q1 elimination, equalling Timo Glock for second in the list of most Q1 eliminations in Formula 1.
With 19th place, Stroll recorded his worst qualifying result at Suzuka to date. His previous worst was 18th place in 2017.
This was the first time Stroll qualified on the back row since the British Grand Prix.
Alex Albon recorded consecutive Q1 exits for the first time since being out in Q1 at all seven races between the Saudi Arabian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix.
Nicholas Latifi qualified in last place for the seventh time this season.
This was the fourth consecutive Suzuka race at which Williams recorded at least one Q1 exit and the second consecutive Japanese Grand Prix at which both Williams drivers were eliminated in the first part of qualifying.
Pierre Gasly recorded his sixth Q1 exit of the season. It was the first time he was eliminated in Q1 since the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Gasly equalled his worst Suzuka qualifying result. He also qualified 17th at the track in 2017.
Kevin Magnussen recorded his fourth Q1 exit in the last five races and made this the third time he has been out in Q1 from his six appearances at the Japanese Grand Prix.