Saudi Arabian GP: Sergio Perez to start on pole, as Hamilton qualifies 16th

Saudi Arabian GP: Sergio Perez to start on pole, as Hamilton qualifies 16th

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.


1Sergio PerezMEXOracle Bull Racing1m29.705s1m28.924s1m28.200s
2Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m29.039s1m28.780s1m28.225s
3Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m28.855s1m28.686s1m28.402s
4Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m28.928s1m28.945s1m28.461s
5Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m30.093s1m29.584s1m29.068s
6George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m29.680s1m29.618s1m29.104s
7Fernando AlonsoESPBWT Alpine F1 Team1m29.978s1m29.295s1m29.147s
8Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen1m29.683s1m29.404s1m29.183s
9Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri1m29.891s1m29.418s1m29.254s
10Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1m29.831s1m29.546s1m29.588s
11Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m29.957s1m29.651s 
12Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m30.009s1m29.773s 
13Guanyu ZhouCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen1m29.978s1m29.819s 
14Mick SchumacherGERHaas F1 Team1m30.167s1m29.920s 
15Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m30.256s1m31.009s 
16Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m30.343s  
17Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m30.492s  
18Nico HulkenbergGERAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m30.543s  
19Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1m31.817s  
20Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauriNo Time Set  

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