Max Verstappen: The key to Suzuka / Formula 1 victory

Max Verstappen: The key to Suzuka / Formula 1 victory

In Australia, Max Verstappen was forced to retire due to a brake fault. His lead in the World Drivers’ Championship over Charles Leclerc is now just four points. In Japan, Max is looking for his third win in a row.

The Suzuka race track has a special place in Max Verstappen’s heart: Here he made his debut as a Friday driver for Toro Rosso (now Racing Bulls) as part of a GP weekend in 2014, when he was 17 years old. Ten years later, Verstappen is a three-time Formula 1 world champion and a 56-time GP winner.

The track record in Japan is above average: Verstappen was second at the demanding track in Japan’s Mie district in 2016 and 2017 and third in 2018. After Corona was forced to break the traditional doctor, he did not offer any competition : victory from pole position in 2022, victory from pole position in 2023. In 2022, his second title was achieved with the victory.

In Australia, Verstappen was forced to accept his first retirement in two years, also surprisingly in Melbourne. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has moved up to four points clear of Verstappen after finishing second in Australia behind team-mate Carlos Sainz.

With his third consecutive victory at Suzuka, Verstappen wants to increase his gap. The 26-year-old Dutchman says: “We have already experienced many memorable moments on the beautiful Suzuka race track, such as my second title in 2022 or winning the constructors’ trophy in 2023.”

“It was great to spend a few days with family and friends after the Australian doctor, then I traveled to Tokyo, a city that always fascinates me.”

“A mistake like that in Melbourne can happen from time to time in motorsport and there is no reason to complain; especially not when we had won nine races in a row before that.”

“We want to show a strong feeling for the open round in Australia at Suzuka, at my favorite cult race. The key to a high result will be the good balance of the car in the fast lanes and good tire management.

“We have to make the most of this weekend and be ready for anything. Because, as usual, we can get a rainy race in Japan.

Australien-GP, Albert Park Circuit

01. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:20:26.843 h
02. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +2,366 sec
03. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +5.904
04. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +35,770
05. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +56,309
06. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1:33,222
07. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, +1:35,601
08. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +1:40.992*
09. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1:44.553
10. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
11. Alex Albon (T), Williams, +1
12. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, +1
13. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, +1
15. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, +1
16. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1
George Russell (GB), Mercedes, accident
Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, engine failure
Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, Bremsdefekt

*20 second time penalty for braking in the fight with George Russell
Entry waived: Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams
(Alex Albon crash in free practice, no replacement chassis in Australia)

World Championship Standings (after 3 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 51 points
02. Leclerc 47
03. Perez 46
04. Sainz 40
05. Plate 28
06. Norris 27
07. Russell 18
08. Alonso 16
09. Walk 9
10. Hamilton 8
11. Tsunoda 6
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 97 Punkte
02. Ferrari 93
03. McLaren 55
04. Mercedes 26
05. Aston Martin 25
06. Running Bull 6
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0