Formula 1 News: Perez crushed Charles Leclerc on his final lap to mark his F1 career’s first-ever pole position, which came out to be both dramatic and unexpected.
Ferrari had established themselves as early favourites by leading in both Q1 and Q2 and then setting the early speed in Q3 – first through Sainz, then through Leclerc. Perez, however, saved his best for last, claiming a fantastic first pole in his 215th try- the lengthiest wait in Formula 1 history.
Nicholas Latifi had already raised red flags by swiping the wall in Q1.
And then, during Q2, the session was halted for an hour due to a dramatic high-speed crash involving Haas’ Mick Schumacher, who was rushed to the medical center – where no injuries were discovered – and then to the hospital for precautionary examinations.
Formula 1 News: Red Bull’s Sergio Perez beats the Ferraris; Lewis Hamilton comes down to 16th; while Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi crash
Moreover, F1’s most successful champion, Lewis Hamilton, who has been a dominant Mercedes driver, was eliminated in the first segment. It happened for the first time since 2017. And, he slipped down to the 16th position.
As the top ten drivers advanced to Q3, few would have anticipated Perez to win.
However, just when it appeared that Charles Leclerc would lead a Ferrari one-two on the grid for Sunday’s race, Perez put in one of the best laps of his career to defeat the Monegasque by 0.025s.
Carlos Sainz finished third, ahead of Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen, who was strangely off-colour when it mattered most. In F1’s fastest street race, Red Bull and Ferrari are poised to go head-to-head for the win.
George Russell, who got a lot more out of his Mercedes than Hamilton, qualified sixth in Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
Formula 1 News: Qualifying Results: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix- Who are the Top 10 on the chart?
- Sergio Perez, Red Bull
- Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
- Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull
- Esteban Ocon, Alpine
- George Russell, Mercedes
- Fernando Alonso, Alpine
- Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
- Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas
Fernando Alonso of Alpine completed 7th. And, Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo finished 8th. They were narrowly ahead of Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen of AlphaTauri and Haas, respectively.
McLaren had to undergo a double exit in Q2. This transpired as of late gains for Gasly and Magnussen bringing both drivers out of the drop zone in Q2. And, that bumped Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo to 11th and 12th, respectively.
Guanyu Zhou finished 13th, with Schumacher’s second-place finish in Q2 good enough for 14th, ahead of Lance Stroll of Aston Martin.
Hamilton was briefly promoted to 15th. But, then, Aston Martin’s Stroll, who was running on fresh softs rather than Hamilton’s three-lap-old tires, rapidly passed him. He dominated him by less than 0.1 seconds.
Alex Albon and Latifi, both of Williams, were also out of Q1, finishing 17th and 19th respectively. They were wedged between Aston Martin’s Nico Hulkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda. And, was forced to observe from the sidelines. It transpired due to a suspected fuel problem that prevented him from setting an F1 race time.