Max Verstappen accuses George Russell while threatening F1 competitors at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen accuses George Russell while threatening F1 competitors at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen is expected to dominate once more at Suzuka this weekend, according to Red Bull’s F1 rivals, despite their poor Grand Prix performance by their own high standards in Singapore.

By dominating Friday’s Japanese Grand Prix practice, Max Verstappen sent a strong message to his Formula 1 competitors.

Last weekend in Singapore, Red Bull lost their perfect winning streak and had pacing issues throughout the three days.
Carlos Sainz took advantage of their bad luck to help Ferrari win their first race of the year.

However, Verstappen’s competitors were aware that Red Bull was likely to be back on track going into this race at Suzuka. and the Dutchman proved them wrong by turning ominous lap times in the weekend’s first two practice sessions.

In a scorching first practice, he outperformed Sainz by more than half a second. Lando Norris qualified for the race in third place, hoping to use his upgraded McLaren to compete for another podium finish.

Verstappen’s session wasn’t entirely uneventful, though. Throughout his struggles in Singapore, he frequently cursed out loud on the radio, but this time, as he expressed his disgust with George Russell, he managed to control his language.

Verstappen reacted angrily to the Mercedes driver who, in his opinion, had obstructed his path, saying: “That Mercedes was so dangerously in the way there. But it did not stop him from later rising to the top of the timesheets.

After that, he repeated the feat in FP2, this time with a three-tenths-of-a-second advantage. Pierre Gasly made a mistake in his line into the second of the Degner Curves, breaking off the front left wheel of his Alpine, which caused the session to be red-flagged a few minutes earlier than scheduled.

The Mercedes cars had a quiet day as neither of them finished a soft tyre run in First Practice. Lewis Hamilton dropped three positions in the standings, placing Russell as the 13th fastest driver.

In the second session of the day, Russell was able to finish fifth fastest, but Hamilton was still significantly slower than Russell and finished only 14th overall.
Early in that practice session, the seven-time world champion asked his team to inspect the car’s floor because he was concerned he might have picked up damage.

Sainz and Charles Leclerc once again demonstrated their speed in that session, demonstrating that Ferrari will be ready to compete if Red Bull experiences more bad luck in the race on Sunday. Yuki Tsunoda, a local hero, finished fifth fastest in FP1, but he dropped significantly in the second session of the day’s time trials.


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