The Jeddah circuit is the ‘fastest street track’ on the Formula One calendar, with cars averaging around 250 km/h (160 mph). With some tricky turns and the high average speeds, the season’s first night Grand Prix race is expected to be a stellar show tomorrow. That said, the Qualifying session for the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a mixed bag, with Max Verstappen settling for P15 after reliability woes, while his teammate Sergio Perez secured his career’s second pole position.
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Here’s how the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Qualifying went down –
F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 Qualifying 1:
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen (1:28.761) and Sergio Perez (+0.483) led Q1, finishing in P1 and P2 respectively, ahead of Aston Martin drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll on third and fourth respectively. Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc (5th) and Carlos Sainz (6th) were behind, followed by Nico Hulkenberg in seventh. Meanwhile Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon, Nyck de Vries, Lando Norris and Logan Sargeant were eliminated in the first qualifying.
F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 Qualifying 2:
Max Verstappen started as favourite to take pole today, but was eliminated in Q2 thanks to a mechanical issue. With the fastest lap time of 1:28.635, his teammate Sergio Perez took P1 in second qualifying, ahead of Fernando Alonso in P2. Charles Leclerc finished 3rd fastest while Carlos Sainz was 4th. Lance Stroll rounded off the top 5 in Q2. Apart from Verstappen (who takes P15 tomorrow), Nico Hulkenberg, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen, Valterri Bottas were also eliminated in the second qualifying session, and will start the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP from 11th to 14th on the grid.
F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 Qualifying 3:
Sergio Perez was the fastest in Q3 with a time of 1:28.265, securing a pole position at tomorrow’s Grand Prix race – his second ever pole start. Charles Leclerc was second fastest in Q3, but is set to serve a 10-place grid penalty tomorrow after taking another control electronics power unit component. This means that the young Scuderia Ferrari driver will start tomorrow’s race from P12, earning all drivers between P3 to P12 one place up on the grid.
George Russell was fourth fastest in the final qualifying, while Carlos Sainz took P5. Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon, Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri and Pierre Gasly finished Q3 from sixth to 10th respectively, but all move one position up tomorrow thanks to Leclerc’s penalty.
Stay tuned to TOI Auto for the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix race report tomorrow as well as other important Formula One updates.