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The 34th pole position for Max Verstappen

The 34th pole position for Max Verstappen

08/03/2024

An intriguing qualifying session looms on the horizon as night falls over Jeddah, with Max Verstappen emerging as the favorite following an impressive time in EL3. However, the Dutchman has yet to secure pole position in Saudi Arabia, hindered last year by a mechanical issue, but anticipation is high for his performance in this season’s second qualifying. The gaps are expected to be as tight as in Bahrain among the top five fastest teams.

2024 F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Qualifying Results

PosDriverNat.TeamQ1Q2Q3
1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m28.171s1m28.033s1m27.472s
2Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m28.318s1m28.112s1m27.791s
3Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m28.638s1m28.467s1m27.807s
4Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m28.706s1m28.122s1m27.846s
5Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m28.755s1m28.343s1m28.089s
6Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m28.805s1m28.479s1m28.132s
7George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m28.749s1m28.448s1m28.316s
8Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m28.994s1m28.606s1m28.460s
9Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m28.988s1m28.564s1m28.547s
10Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m28.250s1m28.578s1m28.572s
11Oliver BearmanGBRScuderia Ferrari1m28.984s1m28.642s 
12Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m29.107s1m28.980s 
13Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m29.069s1m29.020s 
14Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m29.065s1m29.025s 
15Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m29.055sNo Time Set 
16Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m29.179s  
17Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m29.475s  
18Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m29.479s  
19Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m29.526s  
20Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick SauberNo Time Set  

It’s challenging to predict whether Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren, or Mercedes F1 will outshine Red Bull, but competition for the top spots on the grid will be fierce. Ollie Bearman’s performance will be keenly watched as he steps in for Carlos Sainz, who is sidelined with appendicitis.

Alpine hopes for a stronger showing than in Bahrain, bolstered by a more promising start to the weekend. However, securing a place in Q2 will be challenging against the competitive Haas, the potentially surprising RB F1, and fast drivers like Valtteri Bottas and Alex Albon.

Stake F1 had no break, as the team worked to repair Guanyu Zhou’s car after his EL3 crash.

In Q1, spanning 18 minutes, Zhou had yet to appear on the track, and Stake F1 had not disclosed his participation status. Except for him, the RB F1 and Red Bull drivers delayed their start, while other competitors took to the track.

Nico Hülkenberg set the initial benchmark, unbeaten by the McLaren drivers before Fernando Alonso took the lead with a 1’28″876. Lance Stroll secured second place, with Bearman finishing last, 1.2 seconds behind Alonso.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell opted for medium tires but posted unconvincing times. Pierre Gasly edged just ahead of Bearman, with Esteban Ocon slotting in between. Charles Leclerc completed his first lap a tenth behind Alonso.

Hülkenberg faced interference, and Magnussen grabbed the third fastest time, only for Piastri to top the leaderboard with a 1’28″755. Albon climbed to sixth, Norris to second, just 0.050 seconds off his teammate, and Bearman secured fourth place, just ahead of Leclerc!

Sergio Pérez claimed second, a mere six-thousandths off Piastri, but Max Verstappen set the pace for all with a 1’28″491. Leclerc and Alonso moved into second and third, respectively. Russell received a black and white flag for crossing the pit line, while Stroll had his time disqualified for exceeding track limits.

Facing elimination threats, Mercedes drivers opted for soft tires, while with six minutes left in the session, Zhou had still not made an appearance. Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda positioned themselves 12th and 13th respectively. Hamilton secured the eighth-fastest time, with Russell taking fourth.

Leclerc clinched the top time with a 1’28″318. Hülkenberg improved to move up to tenth, just ahead of his teammate. Bottas claimed the 14th provisional spot, but all drivers except Zhou were on track. For Zhou, it seemed all was lost, but he entered the track with just 1 minute and 50 seconds left in the session.

Sargeant did not improve from 18th place, confirming his elimination. Pérez took the third-fastest time, and Verstappen reclaimed the lead with a 1’28″171. Ricciardo moved up to 11th, while Tsunoda placed ninth, three spots ahead of his teammate.

Lance Stroll was on a fast lap and managed to move up to second place. Ocon did no better than 17th, right ahead of Gasly. Zhou failed to start his timed lap. Ollie Bearman completed a slow lap, likely to avoid impeding others, without concern for elimination, as it was probably for the best.

The eliminated drivers were Bottas, Ocon, Gasy, Sargeant, and Zhou.

Q2 – 15 minutes

Hülkenberg encountered a mechanical issue, reporting a loss of power in his Haas. Hamilton set the first time with a 1’28″680, beaten by Russell’s 1’28″608. Piastri did not improve, and Norris slotted in between them. A yellow flag was waved as Hülkenberg stopped by the trackside, prompting a red flag deployment.

At 18:32, Bearman was on a promising lap when he had to stop due to the red flag. The session resumed at 18:34!

Bearman erred on his fast lap, while Pérez set the session’s best time at 1’28″539. Ricciardo placed sixth, and Verstappen improved to 1’28″078. Alonso fell short by 0.044 seconds of the Dutchman’s excellent time. Leclerc was third, 0.101 seconds behind Verstappen, with Stroll right behind Pérez.

Piastri achieved the fourth-fastest time, with Norris moving up to fourth, just ahead of his teammate. Bearman clocked the 11th time, outside the qualifying zone. All drivers were on track, except for Alonso and Hülkenberg.

Albon was 12th, and Hamilton eighth. Russell advanced to fifth, Ricciardo did not improve, and Tsunoda placed eighth. Bearman could not better 11th, missing out by 36 milliseconds. Verstappen advanced with a 1’28″033, and Leclerc slotted between him and Alonso.

The eliminated drivers were Bearman, Albon, Magnussen, Ricciardo, and Hülkenberg.

Q3 – 12 minutes

Hamilton recorded the first time of Q3 with a 1’28″807, immediately bested by Russell’s 1’28″316. Piastri was just 0.009 seconds behind Russell in second place, and Norris was three-tenths from the lead.

Tsunoda posted a distant time, and Pérez achieved a 1’27″808, two-tenths ahead. But Verstappen dominated with a 1’27″472, three-tenths ahead of Pérez and half a second in front of Alonso. Stroll placed seventh, with Leclerc starting his lap later, eventually finishing fourth, eight-tenths behind.

Hamilton improved but only managed the seventh-fastest time. Norris moved up to fourth, Piastri also improved, overtaking his teammate. Tsunoda made progress to ninth.

Pérez did not improve, Leclerc advanced to second ahead of Pérez, and Alonso also beat his time, staying fourth. Stroll was on pace but missed the last sector, finishing tenth.

Verstappen secured pole, followed by Leclerc, then Pérez, and Alonso. Piastri and Norris formed the third row, ahead of Russell and Hamilton, with Tsunoda and Stroll completing the top ten.

The 34th pole position for Max Verstappen. The 34th pole position for Max Verstappen. F1 2024 The 34th pole position for Max Verstappen.

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