Sergio Perez will start a Formula 1 race from pole position for the first time in his career after a dramatic qualifying in Jeddah ahead of tomorrow’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The two Ferrari drivers looked to be the favourites for pole, but Perez put in a blistering lap at the end of Q3 to ensure he’ll start at the front of the grid.
His teammate, Max Verstappen, couldn’t match his pace, and will line up in fourth, while George Russell, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were all denied the chance to go quicker as they brushes barriers on their final laps.
The first part of qualifying was disrupted when Nicholas Latifi lost the rear end of his Williams, sending him into the barrier at high speed and bringing out the red flag while marshalls cleared the stricken car.
Yuki Tsunoda was unable to set a timed lap after suffering a fuel issue, but the big casualty in Q1 was Lewis Hamilton, with his Mercedes lacking pace in a straight line, leaving him in the bottom five.
There was a lengthy delay in Q2 when Mick Schumacher suffered a huge crash, with the Haas driver clipping the kerb before striking the wall side on.
The German was extracted from the car and taken to the medical centre, with Haas reporting that he was conscious and being taken for a scan as a precaution.
It was almost an hour before the scene was clear and repairs made to the track, allowing the session to resume.
Both Alpine drivers made it through to the top 10 at the expense of McLaren, with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo dropping out in Q2.
Provisional qualifying result:
1 Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
5. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
6. George Russell (Mercedes)
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
9. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
11. Lando Norris (McLaren)
12. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
13. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
14. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
15. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
16. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
17. Alex Albon (Williams)
18. Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin)
19. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
20. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)