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Saudi Arabian GP qualifying as it happened

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix continues with Saturday practice and qualifying.

Saudi Arabian GP qualifying as it happened

By: Haydn Cobb, Stephen Lickorish, James Newbold


  • Perez takes Saudi Arabian GP pole from Leclerc - the Ferrari driver will start 12th after serving grid penalty
  • Leclerc's penalty puts Alonso on the front row for Aston Martin
  • Verstappen suffers driveshaft failure in Q2 and qualifies 15th
  • Out in Q2: P11 Hulkenberg, P12 Zhou, P13 Magnussen, P14 Bottas, P15 Verstappen
  • Out in Q1: P16 Tsunoda, P17 Albon, P18 de Vries, P19 Norris, P20 Sargeant
  1. Perez, Red Bull, 1m28.265s
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari, 1m28.420s
  3. Alonso, Aston Martin, 1m28.730s
  4. Russell, Mercedes, 1m28.857s
  5. Sainz, Ferrari, 1m28.931s
  6. Stroll, Aston Martin, 1m28.945s
  7. Ocon, Alpine, 1m29.078s
  8. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m29.223s
  9. Piastri, McLaren, 1m29.243s
  10. Gasly, Alpine, 1m29.357s
Status: Stopped
It's all set up very intriguingly tomorrow's race. Will Verstappen be able to fight through to the front from 15th? What can Alonso do into Turn 1? Will the Jeddah circuit's walls catch more drivers out? Join us from just before 5pm UK time for all the build-up to the race. Bye for now.
So, as we draw breath now, here's our round-up of that eventful qualifying:
Wow, what a session that ended up being! It looked like being a Red Bull walkover but driveshaft drama for Verstappen and some improved Ferrari pace meant it was far from straightforward.
Mixed feelings for Leclerc as he describes Red Bull as being on "a different planet" but he's still happy with the lap time he was able to produce. Will be fascinating to see him fighting through from 12th, with Verstappen three places back.
Hamilton will be disappointed not to improve on the second run and will start down in seventh. He is four tenths adrift of team-mate Russell and will be thinking what might have been.
Perez clearly likes this circuit as he makes it two consecutive poles in Saudi Arabia. But with Alonso and Russell nipping at his heels, it could be an interesting Turn 1!
So Leclerc finishes second to Perez, but will fall to 12th putting Alonso back onto the front row. Russell will be third, from Sainz, Stroll, Ocon, Hamilton, Piastri and Gasly.
Leclerc goes up to second and pips Alonso and closes the gap to two tenths to Perez, but it's pole for the Red Bull driver. There's still something for the Milton Keynes team to celebrate, but not the driver you would've expected.
Hamilton, meanwhile, doesn't improve and is dumped down to seventh. Stroll has a huge slide at the end of the lap and therefore only makes it ip to sixth.
However, Stroll goes purple in sector one!
And he's not able to deliver it! He improves to second with a 1m28.730s but that's still half a second behind Perez's earlier effort.
Alonso is a tenth down on Perez after the first two sectors, it's going to need something special in the final sector here!
It seems as if Sainz is on a different strategy and perhaps this was designed to be a warm-up lap anyway and the Merc exiting the pits right in front of him was not as disastrous as it first seemed.
Sainz is badly blocked by one of the Mercedes drivers on his lap and that's going to cost him dear.
Right, here we go, Alonso and the Ferraris head back out for their final efforts. Can anyone get even close to that time from Perez?
Piastri, perhaps unsurprisingly, is slowest of all the runners, while Stroll climbs up to fifth, relegating Hamilton to sixth.
Russell, meanwhile, is concerned about damage to the floor after an aggressive kerb strike, so that could lead to him slipping down the leaderboard, perhaps.
Piastri and Stroll are now out, presumably to set their one and only times of the session.
That time is half a second quicker than Leclerc and he's not even fastest in the first sector. But we know it was a bit of a scrappy lap for Alonso so there could be more pace for him to come.
And there go Perez unleashes a 1m28.265s! Verstappen may be out, but Red Bull is far from out of contention here!