Verstappen was the firm favorite for pole position after leading FP1, FP2, FP3 and early Q1 qualifying, but a driveshaft issue that occurred in Q2 means he will start Sunday’s race. from 15th place on the grid
SErgio Pérez took pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix during an action-packed qualifying session at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Saturday March 18, after his teammate and championship leader Max Verstappen dropped out of Q2. due to technical problems.
Verstappen was the firm favorite for pole position after leading FP1, FP2, FP3 and early Q1 qualifying, but a driveshaft issue that occurred in Q2 means he will start Sunday’s race. from 15th place on the grid.
Pérez picked up the pieces in Verstappen’s absence, posting a 1m 28.265 in the decisive phase of Q3 to claim a second consecutive pole position in the Kingdom, 0.155s ahead of Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc, who will lose 10 places due to a engine penalty.
Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin therefore jump to the front row as their strong start to the season continues, followed by leading Mercedes of George Russell, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and teammate Lance Stroll.
A much stronger qualifying performance from Alpine saw them in seventh and tenth with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly respectively, with Lewis Hamilton taking eighth in his Mercedes and rookie Oscar Piastri impressing en route to P9 in his McLaren.
Haas and Alfa Romeo were unable to clear the second qualifying hurdle, with Nico Hulkenberg finishing 11th behind Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas, while Verstappen completed the list of drivers who left Q2 amid his costly troubles.
AlphaTauri lost both of their cars in Q1, with Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries taking P16 and P18 respectively; the latter regretted a mistake in the last corner of his last lap after missing FP3 due to a power unit change.
Alex Albon was the leading Williams in 17th, splitting the two AlphaTauris, while Lando Norris was the biggest name to drop out in Q1 after hitting the wall at Turn 27 and sustaining damage in the direction not indicated. they were able to repair
It was a messy second F1 qualifying session for Logan Sargeant, who lost his first lap for exceeding track limits, spun during his second attempt and eventually encountered a technical problem on his last attempt, leaving him at the back of the grill without time.