Max Verstappen hits qualifying problem, finishes fifteenth

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Max Verstappen will begin fifteenth on the grid on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after his Red Bull’s driveshaft broke through the second a part of qualifying.

The reigning champion was the clear favorite for pole place after ending 0.6s away from his nearest rival in remaining follow and doubling down on that benefit within the first session of qualifying.

But the issue, which occurred on his first try in Q2, meant he was unable to finish a flying lap within the second session and was due to this fact categorized fifteenth.

“The car is not accelerating,” Verstappen mentioned over staff radio shortly after the issue occurred.

Verstappen returned the automotive to the pits, but it surely turned instantly clear that he wouldn’t be capable of proceed.

Verstappen and Red Bull later confirmed it had been a driveshaft problem.

“In Turn 10 the driveshaft just broke, so that’s really unfortunate,” Verstappen mentioned after qualifying. “And, also, something I don’t really understand, because we never had any issues with that so far this year. But it did happen and we’ll analyze everything and try to understand how that happen.”

The disappointment follows a dominant victory for Verstappen on the opening spherical of the season in Bahrain, which earmarked him as the person to beat heading to Saudi Arabia.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez made good on Red Bull’s potential by qualifying on pole place.

Fernando Alonso continued Aston Martin’s feel-good story by securing a spot alongside Perez on the entrance row of the grid. Alonso claimed a podium behind the Red Bulls on the Bahrain Grand Prix and can really feel assured about one other robust outcome on Sunday night.

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had crushed Alonso to second place in qualifying however will drop 10 locations as a penalty for the staff taking up additional engine parts earlier this week, that means he’ll be a part of Verstappen within the second half of the grid.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will begin in seventh.