Saudi Arabian GP | Sergio Perez takes pole position, Verstappen exits in Q2

Spread the love

Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez took his second consecutive Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pole position, as Max Verstappen suffered a mechanical issue that knocked him out in Q2.

The undisputed favourite to take pole, Verstappen dropped out of Qualifying following a mechanical issue that his Red Bull team were unable to fix in time for him to get out on track again.

Charles Leclerc followed in second, but will start from 12th following an engine penalty. It means that Aston Martin get the opportunity for their second ever front-row start as Fernando Alonso looks to win his first race in ten years.

George Russell guided his Mercedes to fourth, and will start inside the top three tomorrow, while Lewis Hamilton languished down in eighth, half a second behind Russell.

Carlos Sainz managed fifth, with Lance Stroll up in sixth for Aston Martin, as he continues to go from strength to strength following his cycling accident.

Oscar Piastri put in a sublime performance to qualify ninth in his second F1 outing, with the Alpine duo of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly starting in seventh and tenth respectively.

Photo: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Q1 started with the drivers complaining about a lack of grip compared to FP3. Soon after Nyck De Vries, Fernando Alonso and Logan Sargeant all found themselves facing the wrong way after spins.

It was to be another frustrating day for McLaren, as Lando Norris hit the inside of the wall at the 27th and final corner, damaging his suspension and ending his session as he finished 19th.

Despite a recovery from an earlier spin, Nyck De Vries failed to scramble out of the drop zone and will start from 18th tomorrow, with his team mate Yuki Tsunoda just ahead in 16th.

Logan Sargeant did his best work when he helped to keep his Williams out of the wall at a high speed section of the track, but had his best lap time deleted and will start from 20th and last place tomorrow.

Max Verstappen fell to the hands of a suspected transmission issue in Q2, with no opportunity for his team to fix the issue inside just 8 minutes, meaning he will start from 15th. It leaves Red Bull with a tricky job to with their strategy, as they hope to fight their way back to the front.

Joining him in being knocked out, was Valterri Bottas in 14th, who was outqualified by team mate Zhou Guanyu in 12th, and the Haas duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen in 11th and 13th.

Photo: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Q3 started with optimism for the entire field, before Sergio Perez blew everyone away with a lap time of a 1:28.265, holding a half second lead after the first runs.

Charles Leclerc completed a superb effort to be just two tenths behind a dominant Red Bull, but the rest of the field failed to manage to get within range as Perez secured his second ever pole position.

Aston Martin will hope to secure a second consecutive podium for the first time in their history and more with two drivers starting in the top five for the first time in their history.