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F1 Saudi Arabian GP: Verstappen grabs pole by 0.3s from Leclerc

Verstappen produced a 1m27.472s on his first run in Q3 but did not improve on his second attempt so that stood as the time to beat.

Leclerc had only been fourth a massive 0.8s down after the first runs, where he had tried an additional warm-up tour to cure a handling problem he was suddenly feeling with new softs.

On his second attempt with just a single warm-up effort, he cut Verstappen’s advantage to 0.319s and beat Perez, who had been unable to go quicker than his first lap in the final segment.

Behind came Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and the McLaren pair – led by Oscar Piastri throughout Q3 – and the two Mercedes drivers.

George Russell ended up ahead of Lewis Hamilton despite making a mistake in the first sector on his final Q3 lap and backing off, with Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10.

Q2 was interrupted after four minutes when Nico Hulkenberg stopped in the Turn 8 runoff just has he had begun a first flier in the middle segment where his team-mate, Kevin Magnussen had provided a tow to the other Haas.

But Hulkenberg’s VF-24 was already sounding ill, with the German pulling over early in sector one and bringing out the red flags as his car had to be recovered.

After a five-minute delay, Q2 built to is conclusion where Oliver Bearman missed the cut by 0.036s in Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, with the 18-year-old followed by Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo.

The just Australian failed to beat his personal best with his final Q2 flier and so was knocked out ahead of the stranded Hulkenberg.

In Q1, Valtteri Bottas was shuffled back to being eliminated in 16th being others improving late in the first segment, where Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly also fell for the second week in a row.

Bottas was left fuming at traffic issues late in Q1, with his engineer claiming he was 0.1s up on his personal best in sector one on his last lap, after the Finn was eliminated by 0.072s behind Albon.

This time they ended up off the back row, where Logan Sargeant and Zhou Guanyu will start for Williams and Sauber – the former setting a personal best that was not good enough to progress well ahead of the chequered flag falling.

Zhou only left the pits with 1m39s left in Q1 after his hefty FP3 shunt, but he did not make it around to start a first flier and he was eliminated in 20th with no time set.

Bearman faces a post-session investigation for apparently failing to respect the race directors’ instruction on the maximum delta time in qualifying when not on a flying lap, in both Q1 and Q2.

Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay 
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1’27.472  
Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’27.791 0.319
Sergio Perez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1’27.807 0.335
Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1’27.846 0.374
Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1’28.089 0.617
Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1’28.132 0.660
George Russell Mercedes 1’28.316 0.844
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’28.460 0.988
Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 1’28.547 1.075
10  Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1’28.572 1.100
11  Ollie Bearman Ferrari 1’28.642 1.170
12  Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1’28.980 1.508
13  Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1’29.020 1.548
14  Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 1’29.025 1.553
15  Nico Hulkenberg Haas/Ferrari
16  Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 1’29.179 1.707
17  Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1’29.475 2.003
18  Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1’29.479 2.007
19  Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1’29.526 2.054
20  Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari

This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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