In an impressive display, the championship frontrunner dominated the competition, initially clocking in a 1m29.012s and subsequently shaving off a tenth to secure a 1m28.877s. Even without his second lap, his initial time was robust enough to secure him pole position.
Max Verstappen left a sizable gap between himself and the rest, with his final lap outpacing Oscar Piastri‘s opening effort by 0.581s. Despite failing to improve his time in his second attempt, the Australian still managed to score his first front-row start, besting team-mate Lando Norris by a slim 0.035s margin.
Norris’ own second attempt didn’t reflect any improvement, his pace lapsed in the second and third sectors, costing him a front row spot. Charles Leclerc, who completed only one lap in Q3, unexpectedly climbed to the fourth spot surprising many as Ferrari seemed to slow down, losing ground to McLaren.
Sergio Perez managed to outpace Carlos Sainz on his final run, placing himself between the two Ferrari‘s despite trailing Verstappen by a massive 0.773s. In a slightly dismal performance, Lewis Hamilton finished a distant one second behind the leaders but succeeded to outrun his Mercedes team-mate George Russell by 0.3s.
Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda managed to snatch the ninth position, staying ahead of Fernando Alonso to maintain his season-long consistency of reaching the final qualifying session. Meanwhile, Liam Lawson couldn’t replicate his Q1 performance when he secured the fourth position and found himself knocked out in Q2 due to a meager 0.043s.
Verstappen maintained his pole position, while local favourite Yuki Tsunoda was able to break into Q3, edging out Fernando Alonso to secure the ninth spot. Alonso managed to maintain his season-long streak of reaching the final qualifying stage, leaving Lawson to settle for 11th place on Sunday’s grid. Pierre Gasly trailed closely behind Lawson, missing out by a mere 0.001s in a tightly contested session.
In a session of mixed fortunes, Alex Albon initially ascended to seventh, but later fell as competitors recorded improved timings. Alpine‘s Esteban Ocon trailed Albon by half a tenth, marking another unfortunate exit for Alpine in Q2. Kevin Magnussen of Haas managed to sneak into Q2 but failed to advance beyond the 15th spot.
A costly error saw Logan Sargeant lose control of his Williams and crash into the barrier, causing a red flag resulting in the second stoppage in as many Q1 races. The accident disrupted Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc‘s laps, who were the first to go again on new softs when the session resumed with nine minutes on the clock.
In a late flurry to the session, notable drivers including Gasly and Albon, who previously had their laps deleted, managed to secure their spots in Q2. Albon’s time was just enough to knock Valtteri Bottas out of the race. Lance Stroll found himself in the 17th spot while his companion Alonso barely made his way out of the bottom five.
In a similar struggle, Nico Hulkenberg‘s lap was disqualified which left him stagnating at the 18th spot. Zhou Guanyu, who was disqualified earlier, was unable to climb past 19th, after running slightly wide at the second Degner corner. Logan Sargeant, with no qualifying time, ended the race at the last place.