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Perez and Alonso set for thriller as Verstappen issue rattles Red Bull

Perez and Alonso set for thriller as Verstappen issue rattles Red Bull

F1 News

Perez and Alonso set for thriller as Verstappen issue rattles Red Bull

Perez and Alonso set for thriller as Verstappen issue rattles Red Bull

Sergio Perez picked up the pieces for Red Bull to take his second consecutive Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pole.

The Mexican took full advantage of issues for team-mate Max Verstappen, setting a time of a one minute, 28.265secs, faster than Charles Leclerc by 0.155s.

But the Ferrari driver will drop 10 places for the race after switching to a third control electronics unit before the weekend.

Verstappen was hot favourite for pole after securing a practice clean sweep, but an issue in Q2 leaved the Dutchman 15th on the grid.

The RB19 has been utterly dominant in Jeddah and Perez underlined his team-mate is not the only driver capable of taming the Red Bull.

With Leclerc's grid drop, Fernando Alonso will line up on the front row for Aston Martin.

The Spaniard recovered from an early spin to eventually finished third-fastest on the night, ahead of Mercedes driver George Russell.

Carlos Sainz will lead Ferrari's charge from fourth on the grid, ahead of the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.

Esteban Ocon impressed for Alpine to outqualify Lewis Hamilton, whilst Oscar Piastri effectively kick-started his F1 career with a solid drive to eighth on the grid.

Pierre Gasly completed the Q3 times for Alpine, a second off the pace of Perez.

Verstappen misery proves Red Bull not bulletproof

Qualifying was at the mercy of Verstappen, who had been in blistering form across all three practice sessions.

A gearbox change was made ahead of FP3 and whilst the Dutchman complained of a loss of power, onboard audio suggested a transmission issue was more likely.

The drama leaves the Bahrain Grand Prix winner 15th on the grid.

Nico Hulkenberg finished just 0.040s adrift of Gasly's effort to miss out on the top 10, joined by Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu in elimination.

Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas also missed out.

Norris contact headlines frantic Q1

A frantic Q1 session saw a multitude of issues for drivers, including three that saw their qualifying sessions end early.

Yuki Tsunoda missed out on Q2 by just 0.010s to Bottas, with Alex Albon unable to advance for Williams.

The second AlphaTauri of Nyck de Vries made its first appearance of the day having missed FP3 for a power unit change.

A lack of calibration seemed to catch the Dutchman off-guard with his AT04 swapping ends as his rear brakes locked into turn one on his first flying lap.

De Vries would muster only the 18th fastest time, ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris.

The Briton was able to set only one flying lap, with his session halted by damage when clipping the apex wall at the final corner, damaging a suspension arm.

American Logan Sargeant made a confident start to Q1 but a stray wheel across the pit entry line saw his initial effort wiped from the timesheets.

The Williams driver failed to recover, with a spin at the turn 22-23 chicane and contact with the wall at turn two ensured he would line up last for the race.

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