Max Verstappen made shock Q2 exit after suffering driveshaft failure on Red Bull; Watch the Saudi Arabian GP live on Sunday from 3:30pm on Sky Sports F1
By Sam Johnston in Jeddah
Last Updated: 18/03/23 6:31pm
Sergio Perez claimed pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen made a shock early exit from Qualifying following a mechanical failure.
Verstappen had been an overwhelming favourite to take pole after comfortably topping all three practice sessions at Formula 1’s fastest street circuit, but a driveshaft failure saw him return to the Red Bull garage midway through Q2 and immediately get out of the car, leaving him to start Sunday’s race in 15th.
The reigning world champion’s exit set up a closer than anticipated contest to take top spot, but Perez kept his composure to seal pole position in Jeddah for a second successive season.
Charles Leclerc was second for Ferrari, but faces a 10-place grid penalty, meaning Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso will join Perez on the front row.
George Russell provided a boost for Mercedes by taking fourth ahead of the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, but Lewis Hamilton could only manage eighth as he remained off the pace of his team-mate.
Lance Stroll backed up Alonso’s strong showing by taking sixth for Aston Martin, while Alpine produced an improved performance to get Esteban Ocon seventh and team-mate Pierre Gasly 10th.
McLaren’s Lando Norris made a Q1 exit after hitting the wall on a flying lap, but his rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri took a highly-impressive ninth as he showed the signs of the superstar potential that many in the paddock believe he possesses.
More to follow…
Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying Result
1) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari*
3) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
4) George Russell, Mercedes
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
6) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
7) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
8) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
9) Oscar Piastri, McLaren
10) Pierre Gasly, Alpine
Formula 1 street racing is back! Watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Sunday’s race begins at 5pm, with build up from 3:30pm. Get Sky Sports
Source : Sky Sports