Max Verstappen’s three terrifying words to Red Bull after Japanese GP qualifying said it all

Verstappen galloped to pole, more than half a second ahead of Oscar Piastri behind, qualifying memorably and leaving Karun Chandhok stunned.

Karun Chandhok described Max Verstappen’s pole lap at the Japanese Grand Prix as “one of the great qualifying laps in F1 history”.

The Dutchman produced a remarkable lap to take first place on the grid for Sunday’s race at Suzuka. He was more than half a second ahead of Oscar Piastri, who qualified second and was the only one to set a starting lap time at 1.28.

Turns out he was pretty happy with that. His first words on the radio to his Red Bull team after the session were simply:
“There you go, 28,” looking as if he had just taken a walk in the park. Speaking after the session, team principal Christian Horner explained that it was a response to race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, who encouraged him.

He say:
“GP started pulling it up on the last run and said, ‘Look at that 0.28 there.’ I told the GP I wanted to see four wheels on the car at the end!That first run seemed to be enough to get the job done, but after that it went even faster.

“All his tricks today were amazing…an amazing performance. I think what we witnessed today is something very special. This last round… let’s look at turn five. This first area is really powerful. »

Sky Sports expert Chandhok agrees with this assessment. He seemed surprised when he said:
“I’m still out of breath watching this. I think it was one of the great qualifying rounds we’ve ever seen in F1 history. There’s not much left on the table.

“The detail that he drives, sandwiching small pieces at the entrance to Spoon Curve, 130R, without using the full width – he thinks of every detail and to me, he is the one driving away front in the car. Christian said it was one of those special laps and he was right. Without Max in the car, they will be in the second row of the grid.

Piastri finished second ahead of Lando Norris in third on a good day for McLaren. Charles Leclerc finished fourth and Sergio Perez fifth, putting the remaining Red Bull within striking distance of a podium for Sunday’s race.

And that means the team is set to make more F1 history. If Red Bull overtakes Mercedes and Ferrari at Suzuka, the constructors’ title will be assured with six full days of racing remaining in the season.

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