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Sergio Perez Takes Second Consecutive Pole in Saudi Arabia

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Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took his second consecutive Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pole position during Saturday’s (March 18) qualifying sessions at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Perez will be accompanied on the front row by Fernando Alonso, as Charles Leclerc – who set the second fastest time of Q3 – will be dropped to 12th place on the grid owing to a 10-place grid penalty.

“You really feel the Formula 1 cars coming alive in this place,” Perez told SkySports’ Khalil Beschir. “Max has been really strong the whole weekend so hopefully tomorrow we can have all four cars up there.”


Both Alonso and his Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll stole the show in Q3 by launching back-to-back threats to knock Perez off the top spot. Alonso bested his fifth place qualifying effort from Bahrain with Stroll likewise improving on his effort from the previous race with a fifth place result.

“Well done, guys,” Alonso told his crew following the conclusion of Q3. “Amazing – amazing! Let’s go!”

Without Verstappen to go through in Q3, pole was an open target for Perez as the straight line pace of the Red Bull team remains uncontested by the rest of the field.

Australian Oscar Piastri, meanwhile, made a relieving improvement from his pace in Bahrain and raised some eyebrows by placing his McLaren in the top-10 shootut, ending the evening in ninth.


Max Verstappen will start the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from 15th on the grid after a sudden driveshaft failure undid his qualifying effort in the first half of Q2.

The Dutchman had yet to set a flying lap time before his RB19 suddenly lost power. Verstappen limped back to the paddock and was quickly out of the car, signalling that Red Bull had no hopes of fixing the issue in time for the two-time champion to set a competitive lap.

Nico Hulkenberg was given a track limits penalty for dipping his tires outside of the racing surface on the frontstretch. The rulebook stipulates that any part of the car crossing the line that separates the Jeddah Corniche Circuit’s pit lane entry from the frontstretch constitutes a track limits violation.

Hulkenberg was able to post a second lap that had Q3 potential, but the German was eliminated from qualifying by Pierre Gasly at the last second of Q2.

Eliminated from Q2 were:


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