Max Verstappen managed to hold on to pole position for the Japanese GP after Lando Norris decided to withdraw an accusation that the Dutchman had forced him off track during qualifying.
Verstappen – who could clinch an early title win this Sunday – went fastest in qualifying on Saturday but was faced with a lengthy wait as the stewards investigated the Q3 incident with Norris.
As the drivers exited the pits ahead of their first flying lap attempts, Verstappen appeared to be going slowly, and so Norris attempted to overtake the Red Bull on the run into 130R.
Verstappen then suddenly accelerated and appeared to lose control of the rear of his car as he swerved across the track towards the line the McLaren was on, leaving Norris no option but to go off track to avoid a crash.”
Despite he drama, Verstappen remains upbeat about his P1 starts tomorrow, but says tey “need that perfect race.”
“It was pretty incredible to drive here again, especially in qualifying when you are on low fuel, these cars really come alive through the first sectors,” he said.
“I am really happy to be on pole and in general, just super happy to be back here in Japan.
“During qualifying, I lost a part of the duct from the car in my final lap so that’s why I couldn’t really improve, nevertheless the first lap was good enough.
“It will be interesting to see what the weather does tomorrow, there may be rain during the race, I am quite confident that we have a good race car so let’s see what we can do. I’m not thinking about the championship still, I’m just taking it day by day.
“The most important thing is that we have a competitive car, and we had that today in qualifying. We still need that perfect race.”