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F1, Verstappen: "The pole wasn't easy to get. Perez was dangerous."

"The Suzuka circuit wears out your tires, and doing a perfect lap is complicated. But I was only interested in a first place." Sergio: "Good duel with Max. For a while, I believed in it. The race? my pace isn't the best." Norris: "Great to fight up the front. The car is developing."

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He seemed like the fittest in terms of pure performance. So Max Verstappen didn't let the pole position get away from him even in Japan, with a 1'28"197.

"It wasn't super easy to get the pole, because it was a battle with Sergio," he said right after.  "This is quite a sensitive track because of the aggressive asphalt that wears out the tires, so taking adavantage of  the car to the limit doesn't always work. You always wants to do a perfect lap, but it often fails here. However, the important thing for me was to place in front of everyone. Overall, it was a good day, but it's tomorrow that counts. Can having Checo next to me in the front row be of help? The team can be satisfied. The desire is to keep them in the grand prix," he glossed over the question about the Mexican driver.

And it was precisely the driver from Guadalajara who pointed out that the in-house duel within the Austrian team has been and will be close at Suzuka. "Today I came very close to Max. I had a very good final lap. It was a bit tricky because, in the final chicane, it was easy to lose a few tenths. In the decisive attempt, I managed to put together a good performance, but not enough to reach the first position. Too bad, because I believed in it. From the beginning of the weekend, I was never really far from my teammate. In cases like that, anything can make a difference. Maybe I wasn't very clean in the first corners. However, in view of the GP, we're starting from a very good position. This morning, in race simulations, my pace wasn't particularly competitive, but we tried to make adjustments that we hope will help," he analyzed.

Getting the better of the Ferraris - which seemed to be accompanied by new blood after the recent double win in Melbourne - was Lando Norris in McLaren. "It's always exciting to fight for the pole position, since we don't have many chances. But I had a good car and managed to do some good laps, especially in the Q3," the driver from Bristol commented. "I'm very happy with the team's performance. Last year, this track had smiled down upon us. Plus, we're fresh from a podium in Australia, so I expect to do the same tomorrow. Like I said, my MCL38 is performing well. We've made progress, and now the goal for the race is to catch up with the two RB20s. They've done a great job here. So, congratulations. But we're also giving it our all and starting to reap the rewards. We just have to keep it up."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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