The championship leader routed the rest of the field with his initial 1m29.012s, which would have been good enough for pole on its own, but a second lap yielded further improvements and he found over a tenth to secure a 1m28.877s.

Verstappen's final lap was 0.581s clear of Piastri's opening effort, which the Australian could not improve on the second time around, but nonetheless was enough for him to secure a first front-row start having shaded team-mate Lando Norris by just 0.035s.

Norris could not improve on his second effort either, and lost fragments of time compared to his younger team-mate in the second and third sectors to be beaten to the front row.

Charles Leclerc only did one lap in Q3, but rocketed up to fourth place as Ferrari appeared to lose pace compared to McLaren overnight having headed the British squad in Friday's sessions.

The two Ferraris were split by Sergio Perez, who was a whopping 0.773s in arrears to Verstappen, but the Mexican found enough to move ahead of Carlos Sainz by two tenths on his final run.

Lewis Hamilton was a second off the pace but beat Mercedes stablemate George Russell by 0.3s, responding to the younger Briton's improvement among the final runs to reclaim his place ahead.

Home hero Yuki Tsunoda made his way into Q3 and grabbed ninth, beating Fernando Alonso, who just scraped into Q3 to ensure his season-long streak of making the final qualifying session continued.

Liam Lawson could not repeat his Q1 heroics, where he catapulted up to fourth, and was knocked out Q2 by just 0.043s as George Russell broke into the top 10 at the end of the second session.

Lawson shaded the 10th-placed Alonso by that scant margin to claim 11th on Sunday's grid, as Pierre Gasly was just 0.001s behind the New Zealander in a tight session.

Alex Albon was first to set a lap in the second set of runs and initially got up to seventh, but fell down the order as the later laps showed greater improvement. He was half a tenth ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon, the French team losing both cars in Q2, while Haas' Kevin Magnussen nudged into Q2, but could get no further than 15th

Logan Sargeant lost control of his Williams on the exit of the Casio Triangle while attempting to complete his first flying lap, dipping a wheel on the grass to earn a one-way ticket to the barrier. The American's shunt produced a red flag, the second Q1 stoppage in as many races.

This interrupted the laps of Sainz and Leclerc and, with nine minutes remained on the clock when the session resumed, the Ferrari pair were first to go again on new softs in their bid to secure passage to the second part of qualifying.

An end-of-session flurry of laps followed as the bottom half of the field aimed to break away from the top five, where both Gasly and Albon, who had laps deleted amid the first runs, managed to secure passage to Q2.

Albon was last to set a time, and his effort was enough to dump Valtteri Bottas into the drop zone. Lance Stroll dropped out in 17th place, as his team-mate Alonso managed to claw his way out of the bottom five despite only modest improvements to his initial time.

Nico Hulkenberg also had a lap deleted but could not progress beyond 18th, while Zhou Guanyu lost a lap to minimal effect as he had only made it to 19th anyway, having run slightly wide at the second Degner corner. Sargeant did not get a time on the board and thus qualified last.

Driver Info
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Time km/h
1 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 1'28.877 235.214
2 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes +0.581 233.687
3 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes +0.616 233.595
4 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari +0.665 233.468
5 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull +0.773 233.186
6 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari +0.973 232.667
7 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes +1.031 232.517
8 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes +1.342 231.716
9 Japan Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull +1.426 231.500
10 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes +1.683 230.843
11 New Zealand L. Lawson AlphaTauri 40 AlphaTauri Red Bull +1.631 230.976
12 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault +1.632 230.973
13 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes +1.660 230.902
14 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault +1.709 230.777
15 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari +1.788 230.576
16 Finland V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari +2.172 229.603
17 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes +2.304 229.271
18 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari +2.422 228.975
19 China G. Zhou Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari +2.521 228.727
20 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes