After the weaker performance in Singapore, the Formula 1 weekend in Suzuka starts the way Max Verstappen would like. The Dutchman is ahead in the first training session.
After his botched weekend in Singapore, world champion Max Verstappen took on the role of front runner again at the start in Japan.
The Dutch Red Bull driver secured the fastest time in opening training at the Suzuka International Racing Course. Verstappen relegated Singapore winner Carlos Sainz to second place in a Ferrari (+0.626 seconds) in 1:31.647 minutes. McLaren driver Lando Norris (+0.745 seconds) landed directly behind on the high-speed track.
Haas driver Nico Hülkenberg was 14th after the first one-hour session of the weekend. Record world champion Lewis Hamilton was only 16th in the Mercedes.
Seven Grands Prix before the end of the season, Verstappen, who was only fifth in Singapore, is 151 points ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez in the World Championship standings. The Dutchman can become world champion for the third time in a row in Qatar in around two weeks at the earliest. Thanks to its huge lead, Red Bull is already on the verge of winning the constructors’ world championship again in Japan.
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