Red Bull’s Perez bests Ferrari duo to take pole for Saudi GP

Sports Desk, Mar 26 (EFE).- Sergio “Checo” Perez (Red Bull) claimed the first poll of his Formula One career Saturday in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah.

The Ferrari duo, Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Spain’s Carlos Sainz, looked to have achieved a front-row lockout, but the 32-year-old Mexican driver posted a lap of 1:28.200 in the dying seconds of Q3 at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Leclerc, the championship leader after winning last week’s season opener in Bahrain, was forced to settle for P2, while Sainz will start from the second row alongside Checo’s teammate, reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen.

France’s Esteban Ocon (Alpine) was fifth, followed by Briton George Russell (Mercedes).

The other Alpine driver, Spanish double F1 champion Fernando Alonso, finished seventh, ahead of Finland’s Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Frenchman Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Dane Kevin Magnussen (Haas).

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) failed to make it out of Q1, a shocking result for the British seven-time champion.

The session extended late into the night after an hour-long halt during Q2 as the result of a high-speed crash that sent Mick Schumacher (Haas) to the hospital and left his car in pieces.

Though the son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher did not suffer any injuries, Haas team principal Gunther Steiner said that Mick would not drive in Sunday’s grand prix.

“There is a possibility that he’ll have to stay for observation overnight at the hospital. Based on these facts and where we are, we have decided not to field his car tomorrow,” Steiner said. EFE


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