Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying: Sergio Perez takes pole after Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen makes shock Q2 exit
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 6:13pm
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.
More to follow…
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