F1 Saudi Arabian GP qualifying results: Perez takes Saudi GP pole
Red Bull's Sergio Perez took his first ever Formula 1 pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah with a last-gasp effort to beat the Ferrari drivers.
Perez pipped championship leader Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr to take a long-awaited first F1 pole, after 214 previous starts with Sauber, McLaren, Force India and Racing Point.
The Mexican's breakthrough result in topping the top-10 Q3 shootout, came after seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton was knocked out in the first Q1 session for Mercedes.
The 2021 Jeddah winner will start 16th, while Red Bull’s world champion Max Verstappen could only manage fourth.
Saudi Grand Prix qualifying results: Perez on pole from Leclerc
|3||Carlos Sainz Jr||1'28.402||0.202||251.424|
|View full results|
What happened in Saudi Grand Prix Q1?
Q1 was halted after just eight minutes when Nicholas Latifi lost control of the rear of his Williams and crashed heavily at Turn 13.
Verstappen headed the times soon after the resumption, producing a lap of 1m29.389s, but that was quickly topped by Leclerc's 1m29.039s and then by Sainz - who produced a 1m28.855s. Verstappen then split the Ferraris with a 1m28.928s on his second push lap.
Focus quickly turned to Hamilton’s struggle to get through to Q2 as he languished in P17, 1.68s off the pace as the chequered flag flew. He briefly went P15 with his last-ditch effort of 1m30.343s, but Lance Stroll – with new tyres on his Aston Martin – knocked him out by 0.087s.
Falling at the first hurdle along with Hamilton were Alex Albon (Williams), Nico Hulkenberg (again subbing for Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin), Latifi (Williams) and Yuki Tsunoda, who didn’t complete a lap when his AlphaTauri suffered a fuel related issue on his out lap.
Saudi Grand Prix Q1 results: Sainz fastest from Verstappen
|1||Carlos Sainz Jr||Ferrari||6||1'28.855||250.142|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||7||1'28.928||0.073||0.073||249.937|
|5||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||7||1'29.683||0.828||0.003||247.832|
|6||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||7||1'29.705||0.850||0.022||247.772|
|10||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||11||1'29.978||1.123||0.021||247.020|
|15||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||9||1'30.256||1.401||0.089||246.259|
|18||Nico Hulkenberg||Aston Martin||10||1'30.543||1.688||0.051||245.478|
|View full results|
What happened in Saudi Grand Prix Q2?
Leclerc set the early bar at 1m28.883s, 0.041s faster than Perez, who in turn was 0.021s quicker than Verstappen.
With five minutes to go, Mick Schumacher spun his Haas after bouncing off the kerb at the exit of the 150mph Turn 10, smashing into the wall on the left at Turn 11 and sliding down the track past Turn 12, causing the second red flag of the day.
Medics took their time with the extraction process before he was taken to the medical centre, while the car recovery process was hampered when the rear end snapped off the chassis and covered the track with oil. Schumacher was then flown to hospital for checks. Although he escaped serious injury, the German will sit out tomorrow's race.
After a delay of almost an hour, the session resumed with Sainz going fastest on a 1m28.686s, 0.094s faster than Leclerc.
Knocked out at this point were the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Schumacher and Stroll.
Saudi Grand Prix Grand Prix Q2 results: Sainz fastest from Leclerc
|1||Carlos Sainz Jr||Ferrari||15||1'28.686||250.619|
|3||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||13||1'28.924||0.238||0.144||249.948|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||14||1'28.945||0.259||0.021||249.889|
|6||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||15||1'29.404||0.718||0.109||248.606|
|13||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||17||1'29.819||1.133||0.046||247.457|
|15||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||15||1'31.009||2.323||1.089||244.222|
|View full results|
What happened in Saudi Grand Prix Q3?
On the first runs, Sainz set the bar at 1m28.402s, 0.044s faster than Leclerc. Perez was third, ahead of the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, and a tardy lap from Verstappen, who complained of “zero grip from this tyre”.
As the final runs began, George Russell (Mercedes) and Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) jumped up to fifth and sixth respectively.
Leclerc then briefly grabbed top spot with 1m28.225s, but Perez wrested pole away with 1m28.200s ahead of the Ferraris.
Verstappen could only manage fourth, 0.261s off the pace, ahead of Ocon, Russell, Alonso, Bottas, Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas).
Saudi Grand Prix Q3 results: Perez takes pole
|1||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||20||1'28.200||252.000|
|3||Carlos Sainz Jr||Ferrari||23||1'28.402||0.202||0.177||251.424|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||22||1'28.461||0.261||0.059||251.256|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||22||1'29.183||0.983||0.036||249.222|
|View full results|
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