Verstappen equals Fangio in the all-time pole list with the biggest pole margin at Suzuka in 20 years, while Piastri qualifies on the front row for the first time. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN ON POLE FOR THE 2023 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Max Verstappen secured the 29th pole position of his Formula 1 career at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, equalling Juan Manuel Fangio for ninth in the all-time list of most F1 poles.
Verstappen secured pole position by the second largest margin of the season so far. Setting the fastest lap by 0.581 seconds, this was the largest pole margin seen at the Japanese Grand Prix since Rubens Barrichello took pole by 0.699 seconds in 2003.
Verstappen became the eighth driver to have taken multiple pole positions at the Suzuka circuit. This was Red Bull’s seventh pole position at the track.
IN THE TOP 10 AT SUZUKA
Oscar Piastri qualified on the front row for the first time in his Formula 1 career, becoming the fifth Australian to qualify on the front row for a Grand Prix. The 2023 Japanese Grand Prix will be the first F1 Grand Prix to feature an Australian driver on the front row since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, when Daniel Ricciardo started alongside Max Verstappen and went on to win the race.
With Piastri second and Lando Norris third, the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix is the second race of the year – after the British Grand Prix – at which both McLaren drivers have qualified in the top three. This was McLaren’s best Japanese Grand Prix qualifying result since 2011, when their drivers also qualified second and third.
Norris’ third place marked the first time he has qualified inside the top seven at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris both maintained their 100% Q3 appearance records at Suzuka, while Oscar Piastri joined them in the club. For Hamilton, this was his 13th Q3 appearance at Suzuka, overtaking Sebastian Vettel for the most Q3 appearances at the track.
With seventh place, Lewis Hamilton recorded his worst Japanese Grand Prix qualifying result since 2012, when he qualified ninth.
Both Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton out-qualified their team-mates for the first time in three races.
George Russell qualified eighth at the Japanese Grand Prix for the second year in succession.
For the first time since 2012, neither Mercedes driver qualified in the top six for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Qualifying in ninth place at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, Yuki Tsunoda reached Q3 for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, when he also qualified ninth.
Tsunoda made this the third time in the last four Japanese Grands Prix that at least one of the Red Bull junior team’s drivers has reached Q3.
Fernando Alonso maintained his record of being the only driver to appear in Q3 at every race this year, reaching Q3 by just 0.043 seconds. Alonso set the slowest time in Q3, matching his worst qualifying result of the season to date from the Italian Grand Prix.
OUT IN Q2
Pierre Gasly qualified in 12th place for the fourth time in the last five races.
Qualifying 14th, Esteban Ocon failed to reach Q3 for the seventh time in the last eight races at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix. It’s also the fifth time in the last six races that neither Alpine driver has reached Q3.
This was the first time since 2016 that Ocon did not reach Q3 at the Japanese Grand Prix. It’s also the first time Ocon has ever been out-qualified by a team-mate at Suzuka.
For the first time since 2014, Kevin Magnussen out-qualified his team-mate at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Alex Albon became the first Williams driver since Lance Stroll in 2018 to progress to Q2 at the Japanese Grand Prix.
OUT IN Q1
Both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were out in Q1 at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, recording the former Sauber team’s first double Q1 elimination at Suzuka since 2017. 2013 remains the last time that one of the teams’ cars reached Q3 at the track.
Bottas was eliminated in Q1 at Suzuka for the first time in his career.
With Bottas 16th and Zhou 19th, Alfa Romeo recorded the same qualifying result as they did one week ago at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix. It’s the team’s third double Q1 exit in the last four races.
17th place in qualifying for Lance Stroll saw him record his third Q1 exit in five appearances at Suzuka. He remains yet to appear in Q3 at the track.
Stroll’s Q1 exit made this his team’s third consecutive visit to Suzuka on which they’ve recorded a Q1 elimination.
Setting the 18th fastest lap time, Nico Hulkenberg recorded his worst Japanese Grand Prix qualifying result to date. This was only the second time, after 2018 that Hulkenberg was eliminated in Q1 at Suzuka.
With 15th and 18th in qualifying, Haas recorded the same qualifying result at Suzuka this year as they did in 2022.
Logan Sargeant brought out the red flags with a crash at the final corner in Q1 at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix. He was subsequently unable to set a lap time and qualified 20th for the fifth time this year.
With Sargeant failing to set a time, this was the third consecutive Japanese Grand Prix at which a Williams driver qualified last.