Sergio Perez takes second pole position of career, Max Verstappen 15th in dramatic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

Sergio Perez took pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as team-mate Max Verstappen had a drivetrain problem which left him down in 15th place.

Verstappen, who won the season-opener in Bahrain, was the big favourite to start the race from first place after topping all three practice sessions.

However, during Q2, his drivetrain failed so the reigning world champion will start 15th for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Red Bull still took pole position as Perez’s first effort in Q3 was 0.155 seconds faster than Charles Leclerc.

But, the Ferrari driver will start from 12th due to a 10-place grid penalty for going over the limit of two for control electronics usage in the season.

This means Fernando Alonso will start on the front row of the grid for the first time in over a decade after he qualified in third for Aston Martin.

George Russell qualified fourth on a weekend where Mercedes have been very open about their car design, which Toto Wolff says they “got wrong”.

Russell was still 0.592 seconds behind Perez though, but will start from the second row alongside Carlos Sainz, who has struggled compared to Leclerc throughout the event.

Lance Stroll was on course for a top-three start until he made a mistake at the final corner, so will start fifth, with Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton in behind.

Lando Norris hit the wall in Q1 and was unable to set a competitive time, so will be at the back of the grid for McLaren.

His rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri reached Q3 for the first time and will begin the race from eighth, ahead of Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg.

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