F1 Japanese Grand Prix live updates: Question marks hanging over Red Bull

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Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix.

After a nightmare race at the Australian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen returned to his dominant best as he and teammate Sergio Perez locked out the front row.

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Aussie Oscar Piastri will start from the third row after qualifying sixth while fellow countryman Daniel Ricciardo will start from 11th.

It was Ricciardo’s best qualifying so far this season, but still saw him finish behind his teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

The lights are set to go out at 2:55pm (AEST).

2.30pm – ‘Question mark’ hanging over F1 champ

Red Bull may have the front row locked out, but three-time Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen isn’t happy ahead of the race.

The dominance of the Red Bull car has been a sight to behold, but the rivals are closing the gap and it’s leaving Verstappen with a lot of worry.

“So far I haven’t been happy with my long runs,” Verstappen said after qualifying.

“The pace wasn’t what I would have liked. So there’s a bit of a question mark going into [the race] because looking at the long runs especially Ferrari, they looked very comfortable.

“Maybe they were not so quick over one lap but they looked fast in the long runs so we’ll have to wait and see how that will evolve in the race.

“[McLaren are] also quite decent. I’m just not very happy with myself and how my long run was so naturally, everyone else looks a little bit better.”

2pm Japanese Grand Prix starting grid

Row 1: Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

Row 2: Lando Norris (McLaren) – Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

Row 3: Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) — Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

Row 4: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Row 5: George Russell (Merecedes) – Yuki Tsunoda (RB)

Row 6: Daniel Ricciardo (RB) – Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

Row 7: Valtteri Bottas (Kick Sauber) – Alex Albon (Williams)

Row 8: Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

Row 9: Pierre Gasly (Alpine) – Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

Row 10: Logan Sargeant (Williams) – Zhou Guanyu (Kick Sauber)