Verstappen Sets the Pace at F1 Japanese GP Practice

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In a thrilling display of speed and skill, Max Verstappen roared back after Red Bull’s setback in Singapore, dominating the opening practice session at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix. The Dutch sensation wasted no time setting the tone, with his first flying lap clocking in at an impressive 1m33.719s. What’s more, he accomplished this feat on the hard tires, leaving his competitors in the dust as they grappled with the harder tire compounds.

But Max Verstappen wasn’t content with just one outstanding lap. He went on to switch to a prototype medium compound tire after his second flyer, recording a lightning-quick 1m37.597s on his next lap. The benchmark continued to drop as he pushed the limits, eventually reaching a scorching 1m32.442s. By the time he pitted, he had a comfortable lead over his nearest rival, Fernando Alonso, with a 0.7s gap. The rest of the field lagged behind by over a second.

Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s teammate and world champion, was among the first to switch to the soft tires. These tires require a slow preparation lap on the demanding Suzuka circuit with its high-energy corners. Despite Perez’s efforts, he still trailed Verstappen’s best time on the prototype mediums by 0.6s. But Verstappen wasn’t finished yet. He extended his lead to nearly 1.4s with a blistering 1m31.647s on his first softs attempt.

Carlos Sainz made a strong showing, slotting into second place, followed closely by Charles Leclerc. Fernando Alonso also made his presence felt, splitting the Ferrari duo around the 40-minute mark. Meanwhile, Liam Lawson of AlphaTauri reported light rain, adding an extra element of excitement to the practice session.

While many leaders returned to the pits for final adjustments and to gather race data, some drivers made late gains. Lando Norris climbed to sixth for McLaren while still using the prototype mediums. Yuki Tsunoda, representing AlphaTauri, jumped ahead of both Norris and Alonso to claim fourth with a late run on the softs.

McLaren then shook up the order behind Verstappen as both of its drivers switched to the soft tires in the final minutes. Oscar Piastri made a remarkable leap from 16th to seventh, right behind Leclerc, Tsunoda, and Alonso. Norris completed his sole effort on the red-walled rubber to secure third place, just 0.7s behind Verstappen.

As the checkered flag fell, some late changes in the standings shuffled the pack. Perez dropped out of the top 10, while George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished 13th and 16th, respectively. Notably, they didn’t use the soft tires during FP1, along with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu of Alfa Romeo.

In a practice session that showcased Max Verstappen’s dominance and the unpredictable Suzuka circuit, the stage is set for an exciting F1 Japanese Grand Prix. Stay tuned for more updates as the weekend unfolds.

F1 Japanese Grand Prix – FP1 Results:

  1. M. VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing) – 1’31.647
  2. C. SAINZ (Ferrari) – 1’32.273 (+0.626)
  3. L. NORRIS (McLaren) – 1’32.392 (+0.745)
  4. C. LECLERC (Ferrari) – 1’32.574 (+0.927)
  5. Y. TSUNODA (AlphaTauri) – 1’32.597 (+0.950)
  6. F. ALONSO (Aston Martin Racing) – 1’32.650 (+1.003)
  7. O. PIASTRI (McLaren) – 1’32.713 (+1.066)
  8. A. ALBON (Williams) – 1’32.991 (+1.344)
  9. L. LAWSON (AlphaTauri) – 1’33.005 (+1.358)
  10. L. STROLL (Aston Martin Racing) – 1’33.040 (+1.393)

Please note that these times are provisional and subject to change as the weekend progresses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Verstappen

Q: Who dominated the opening practice session at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix?

A: Max Verstappen from Red Bull Racing utterly dominated the opening practice session at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix.

Q: What was Max Verstappen’s fastest lap time during the practice session?

A: Max Verstappen set a blistering lap time of 1’31.647 during the practice session.

Q: Which tires did Max Verstappen use to set his fastest lap?

A: Max Verstappen initially set a quick time on the hard tires, and then he switched to prototype medium and soft tires during the session.

Q: Who were some of the other top-performing drivers during the practice session?

A: Carlos Sainz from Ferrari, Lando Norris from McLaren, and Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri were among the top-performing drivers during the practice session.

Q: Did any drivers make late gains towards the end of the practice session?

A: Yes, several drivers, including Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri from McLaren, made late gains in the final minutes of the practice session.

Q: What were some notable placements in the practice session standings?

A: George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished 13th and 16th, respectively, and they didn’t use the soft tires during FP1.

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RaceFanatic99 September 22, 2023 - 5:40 am

max v took the hard tires and bam! fast lap. then mediums & softs, still faster. he’s on fire

SpeedyRacer22 September 22, 2023 - 2:01 pm

wow, Verstappen sure showed his stuff at the F1 Japanese GP! no one could catch him, it was amazin

LewisF1Fan September 23, 2023 - 2:56 am

hamilton 16th? not usin’ softs tho. bet he’ll climb in the real race! #TeamHamilton


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