Verstappen’s final sector was mighty on his final qualifying simulation to top the session ahead of Lando Norris.

Norris did have a bit of oversteer on the exit of the final chicane, suggesting there’s more to come from the British driver.

Just over 0.2s separated Verstappen, Norris and Oscar Piastri, with a substantial gap to Sergio Perez in fourth.

Perez continues to lack one-lap pace at Suzuka, 0.7s off his teammate’s time.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were fifth and sixth, losing around 0.5s in the first part of the lap alone.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were next up in seventh and eighth, narrowly ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Zhou Guanyu completed the top 10 for Alfa Romeo, less than a tenth ahead of Valtteri Bottas.