Sergio Perez in pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen 15th

The Mexican took first place in Saturday’s qualifying, ahead of Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso. Max Verstappen will start in 15th position due to a mechanical problem.

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Mexican driver Sergio Perez during qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah on March 18, 2023. (GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)

Sergio Perez certainly likes the Jeddah circuit. Like last year, the Red Bull driver took pole position in the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, instead of the only two in his career. He preceded Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), who will start 12th due to a ten-place grid penalty for an ECU change, and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) followed by George Russell (Mercedes). The last two will therefore start behind the Mexican on the starting grid.

The Red Bull team had a two-sided qualifying session as the big surprise of the day came from Max Verstappen. After largely dominating the three free practice sessions of the weekend, the two-time reigning world champion did not go beyond Q2. The Dutchman was forced to finish qualifying due to a gearbox problem.

Aston Martin confirms itself, Alpine in Q3

He will only start in 15th position on the starting grid. That will certainly add some spice to this Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, which he won last season. “It’s really boring. We had a good weekend, every session was going wellhe reacted to coming out of his tub. It will be a bit more difficult to play the main roles, but we have a good pace, so we will definitely make up positions.”

The Ferraris showed good pace in qualifying as in addition to Charles Leclerc (2nd time), Carlos Sainz Jr finished 5th. The Monegasque, penalized by ten positions, will allow his opponents to scrape together a position on the starting grid on Sunday. The Aston Martins confirmed their excellent start to the year. On the podium of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso will start from the front row thanks to his third best time of the day. His teammate Lance Stroll set the sixth fastest time.

Even the Alpini were reassured. Pierre Gasly had failed Q1 during the first Grand Prix of the season, before shining in the race, he finished 10th on Saturday. He is preceded by compatriot and teammate Esteban Ocon, 7th. Mercedes are not particularly at the party. Especially Lewis Hamilton, 8th, while George Russell finished 4th.

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