Sergio Perez stepped up for Pink Bull to make sure the crew began from the pole on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a mechanical challenge sidelined two-time defending world champion Max Verstappen.
Verstappen was quickest in all three observe classes on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit however his qualifying effort was lower brief Saturday when he radioed “I have a problem. Engine, engine problem,” through the second session. The Dutchman drove to the pits, the place a driveshaft challenge was found, and Verstappen’s qualifying effort was over.
It left Perez because the lone Pink Bull consultant within the last spherical of qualifying and he went on to win pole for the second consecutive 12 months — the one two poles of his profession.
“Max has been really strong the whole weekend, so hopefully we can have both cars up there,” Perez mentioned. “You never know with these cars, reliability issues can hit you at any time.”
Verstappen will begin fifteenth.
“The driveshaft broke … It was annoying because the car was good up until then, I was comfortable in every session and every time I was on the track, I was quick, so for sure we could have fought for pole,” Verstappen said. “Instead, we now have a bit more work ahead of us. It is a long championship and we will stay positive. I think a win is tricky from that position, but I will try to score as many points as possible.”
Charles Leclerc certified second for Ferrari however will drop 10 positions at first of Sunday’s race due to a grid penalty for exceeding the allotted electronics management unit on the automobile’s engine within the season-opening race.
Leclerc mentioned even with out the penalty he wasn’t all that impressed along with his qualifying effort as a result of your entire grid is chasing Pink Bull. Verstappen final 12 months gained a report 15 races, Perez added two victories and Pink Bull claimed each the motive force and constructors championships.
“The lap — I’m really, really happy. It was really on the limit,” Leclerc mentioned. “On the other hand, I feel the Red Bull are quite far ahead and that is our goal, to beat them, so there is still a lot of work to do.”
The penalty to Leclerc pushes Fernando Alonso to the entrance row for the beginning after the Spaniard certified third in his new Aston Martin experience. Alonso completed third in his season-opening debut race with Aston in Bahrain.
Is he in place to win his first F1 race since 2013?
“No, I think we are not in that position yet. I think on pure pace, Red Bull is in another league,” Alonso mentioned. “I believe we have to focus extra on the opposite groups: Ferrari will probably be very robust, Mercedes they’re robust, and likewise Alpine, they’re quick right here.
“I think our race is behind us. But we saw Max could not complete qualifying with a mechanical issue, so even if we focus on our mirrors and try to keep the people behind us, if anything happened in front, we will try to take the opportunity, for sure.”
George Russell certified fourth for Mercedes — 4 spots forward of teammate Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time champion certified eighth.
“We just need to keep trying. No matter what changes we’ve been making, we’ve been struggling to extract the speed, and I just don’t feel properly connected to the car at the moment,” Hamilton mentioned. “That is something we will work on to improve the confidence in the next races. George did a great job and he wasn’t that far off some of the cars at the front, so we just need to keep pushing.”
Carlos Sainz Jr. was fifth for Ferrari adopted by Lance Stroll of Aston Martin. Esteban Ocon was seventh.
Oscar Piastri was ninth for McLaren and Pierre Gasly tenth for Alpine.
Logan Sargeant, the American rookie driving for Williams, was briefly atop the velocity chart within the first qualifying group till his time was deleted for violating monitor limits. Sargeant’s tire had briefly touched an space of monitor thought-about off limits and the FIA shortly deleted his lap.
Sargeant later spun within the qualifying group in his determined push to not qualify final. Had his earlier lap not been deleted, Sargeant would have superior into the second spherical of qualifying. He’ll begin twentieth.
“I put in a very fast lap but it was deleted as I crossed the pitlane entry by a margin. There was no performance gain so it’s frustrating, but I still had two more laps to deliver and I didn’t, so my apologies go to the team,” Sargeant mentioned. “Although I’ve given myself a lot more work than I needed to, I’m quite optimistic about (Sunday) and I’ll make it up to the team.”
Nyck de Vries missed Saturday morning observe with an engine downside then spun virtually instantly at first of qualifying, and Lando Norris of McLaren smacked the wall within the first qualifying group and needed to go to the pits for repairs. It prevented him from advancing as his rookie teammate Piastri moved on to the third spherical for the primary time in his profession.
The Jeddah circuit is the second-longest monitor on the F1 circuit at 6.174 kilometers (3.836 miles) and was constructed alongside the Pink Sea. It debuted because the penultimate race on the 2021 calendar and is taken into account the “fastest street track” on the schedule with common speeds exceeding 250 kmh (160 mph).