Sergio Perez secured his first Formula 1 pole position after edging off Charles Leclerc at the end of a chaotic qualifying session of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
In a qualifying session that was red-flagged for a lengthy time owing to a big crash for Haas driver Mick Schumacher, Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez secured pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Perez’s final effort in Q3 was enough to claim pole position by just 0.025s over Leclerc, following an hour delay caused by Mick Schumacher’s devastating crash. Carlos Sainz Jr. will start third on the grid, ahead of Max Verstappen, the current world champion. After being eliminated in Q1, Lewis Hamilton will start 16th on the grid.
The first round of qualifying took place in cold conditions, with track temperatures averaging around 16 degrees, but with much calmer winds than the final practice session.
Ferrari’s Leclerc and Sainz were the first to take to the track, while Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell decided to do their opening laps of the session on the medium tyres. However, Hamilton made a mistake in turn four’s fast left hander, causing his first lap to be ruined before it had even began.
Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher were fastest in the early stages, until Sainz started establishing purple sectors on his first attempt.
However, he was unable to complete the lap owing to Nicholas Latifi’s collision into the tyre barrier at the lengthy turn 13 hairpin, which resulted in the session being red flagged.
“It just appeared like I lost the rear under braking into Turn 13, so we need to study at the data to understand exactly why,” the Canadian said after the session.
Midway through the second practice, Haas driver Mick Schumacher was involved in a terrifying high-speed crash, resulting in a lengthy red flag period. Despite the fact that no injuries were found after the driver was taken to the Medical Centre, the Swiss-born German was taken to King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital in Jeddah for precautionary tests.
After the session resumed after a long break, all of the drivers were eager to go out on the track. In the end, Carlos Sainz set a new weekend record with a lap time of 1m 28.686s, beating out his teammate Leclerc and the Red Bull drivers.
The practice was resumed with little over 11 minutes remaining after Latifi’s car was retrieved. Verstappen set the fastest time of 1’29.330 seconds right away, but he was quickly overtaken by both Ferraris, with Leclerc and Sainz rising to the top of the charts.
As Alpine showed good pace, Esteban Ocon had a big moment at Turn 11, but he held on to the car and qualified a strong fifth.
Fernando Alonso placed seventh, with Mercedes’ George Russell splitting the Alpines, leaving Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly, and Kevin Magnussen to complete the top ten.
After the crash, Schumacher was officially 14th, but his participation in the race has yet to be certified.
Yuki Tsunoda was instructed to pit, with the crew informing him that his AlphaTauri had a fuel issue. He was eliminated without setting a lap time because the crew was unable to send him back out.
McLaren improved its performance after its poor showing in Sakhir, but it was not enough to propel the Woking-based team into the final qualifying round. For the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo will start P11 and P12 on the grid.
Hamilton was on the verge of being eliminated in 16th place in the last minutes. Despite reporting that he was unable to better his lap time, Hamilton was able to improve at the checkered flag, albeit only to 15th place. Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin promptly beat his time, relegating him to 16th place and sealing his departure from Q1.
Alex Albon’s Williams and Nico Hulkenberg’s Aston Martin were also in the pits with Hamilton. Following his crash, Latifi finished 19th, while Tsunoda finished 20th and last after failing to set a time.
2022 F1 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING RESULTS
|1||Sergio Perez||MEX||Oracle Bull Racing||1m29.705s||1m28.924s||1m28.200s|
|2||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1m29.039s||1m28.780s||1m28.225s|
|3||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1m28.855s||1m28.686s||1m28.402s|
|4||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||1m28.928s||1m28.945s||1m28.461s|
|5||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m30.093s||1m29.584s||1m29.068s|
|6||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m29.680s||1m29.618s||1m29.104s|
|7||Fernando Alonso||ESP||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m29.978s||1m29.295s||1m29.147s|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m29.683s||1m29.404s||1m29.183s|
|9||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m29.891s||1m29.418s||1m29.254s|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||1m29.831s||1m29.546s||1m29.588s|
|11||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1m29.957s||1m29.651s|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1m30.009s||1m29.773s|
|13||Guanyu Zhou||CHN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m29.978s||1m29.819s|
|14||Mick Schumacher||GER||Haas F1 Team||1m30.167s||1m29.920s|
|15||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team||1m30.256s||1m31.009s|
|16||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m30.343s|
|17||Alexander Albon||THA||Williams Racing||1m30.492s|
|18||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team||1m30.543s|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1m31.817s|
|20||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri||No Time Set|