Max Verstappen digs out Sergio Perez as rival given pre-race time penalty

Max Verstappen is looking to secure a return to winning ways at the Japanese Grand Prix after qualifying on pole position following a dominant Saturday performance at Suzuka.

The reigning world champion was well-beaten in Singapore last weekend, suffering a Q2 exit during qualifying on Saturday before recovering to snatch P5 in the Grand Prix on Sunday.

That result put an end to both Verstappen and Red Bull’s winning streak. The Dutchman had won a record-breaking ten consecutive Grands Prix ahead of the trip to Singapore, while the team were unbeaten all season long.

Any hopes of a Singapore hangover for Red Bull were quickly eliminated when the cars hit the Suzuka track this weekend. Verstappen topped the timing sheets in all three practice sessions before qualifying six-tenths of a second clear of the field for the Japanese Grand Prix.

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Pre-race peril for Sargeant

Logan Sargeant has been given a pre-race time penalty amounting to ten seconds. This will be served during the Japanese Grand Prix.

The American rookie suffered a major shunt during Saturday’s qualifying session, colliding with the wall at the end of the final sector on his first flying lap.

Williams’ engineering team faced a lengthy overnight rebuild job, breaking Parc Ferme conditions to rebuild the No.2 car and get Sargeant onto the grid for Sunday’s race.

As a result of these changes, Sergeant will be starting the Grand Prix from the pit lane, giving him a mountain to climb as he targets his maiden F1 points.

Good morning!

Good morning and welcome to Express Sport’s rolling news coverage for the Japanese Grand Prix. Join us for one of the earliest race starts of the season as we provide you with all of the latest stories and reactions from the latest trip to Suzuka.

Grab a coffee and strap in. The countdown to lights out begins. 

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