Sergio Perez Maiden Pole, Lewis Hamilton Shock, Mick Schumacher’s Crash – Saudi Arabia GP Quali Rundown

Sergio Perez Maiden Pole

Sergio Perez finally claimed his maiden pole position in dramatic fashion. He put in a ridiculously good lap to deny Charles Leclerc securing back-to-back pole positions at the start of the season.

Carlos Sainz suffered another frustrating day, he looked good for pole position after topping Q1, Q2 and the first Q3 runs. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, he couldn’t improve at the end and will have to settle for P3.

It was the first time since Brazil 2017 that Lewis Hamilton has failed to make it out of Q1. He crashed that day, with the last time he’s missed out on pure pace being back at Silverstone in 2009.

Lewis Hamilton Knocked Out in Q1

Q1 had to be stopped for a red flag when at turn 13 where Nicholas Latifi crashed into the barrier, with the Canadian not setting a time worthy of getting out of the session. The main thing was he was ok.

Then Ferrari did take a 1-2 with Sainz leading Leclrec, pipping the Red Bulls. Hamilton did have problems in the opening runs, way down the order with his teammate going quicker than Perez’s Red Bull.

Verstappen was then able to split the Ferraris on a second run, with George Russell and Valtteri Bottas completing the top five. Yuki Tsunoda had a problem and couldn’t set a time.

The biggest shock was Lewis Hamilton failing to make it out of Q1, just four months after he placed the car on pole. There’s clearly a fundamental problem with the Silver Arrows at the moment, something they need to get on top of as soon as possible if they are to make it nine Constructor’s Championship triumphs in a row.

The drivers we lost in Q1 were Yuki Tsunoda, Latifi, Nico Hulkenberg, Alex Albon and Hamilton.

Ferrari Still Dominate as Mick Schumacher Crashes

Esteban Ocon was blocked off by Daniel Ricciardo during the session. Looking at it, you’d imagine a penalty is heading in the way of the Australian.

We then had another red flag, with Mick Schumacher having a huge crash. He was conscious talking to the doctors on the scene, but remained in the car for a while. When removing the car, the back end ripped off from the front of the car, highlighting the force of the crash. Guenther Steiner, speaking to Sky Sports, admitted it was likely that Schumacher would be out of tomorrow’s race. He was airlifted to hospital for further checks. Thankfully, it was reported he had spoken to his mum on the phone so should be ok, with the cameras picking up on him smiling before heading to hospital.

After the session resumed, we saw Sainz go quickest with Leclerc behind him. The Red Bulls closely followed to complete the expected top four.

We lost Lance Stroll, Schumacher, Guanyu Zhou, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris as Russell just about scraped into the top ten shootout.

Sergio Perez Maiden Pole

Opening runs saw Sainz take provisional pole by just 0.044 seconds ahead of his teammate. Perez took third with Verstappen only sixth fastest, before Russell and Bottas knocked him down to P8. The Dutchman was struggling for grip on his tyres.

The final attempt for the drivers to grab pole saw Leclerc snatch top spot from his teammate. However, he didn’t have that for long as Perez secured a maiden pole position, with his teammate qualifying P4. The Mexican was 0.025 seconds quicker than Leclerc to set up an exciting race tomorrow.

Driver Reaction

Sergio Perez was delighted: “It took me a couple of races! But what a lap man, it was unbelievable!”

Charles Leclerc wasn’t too disappointed missing out on pole: “I am very happy with the lap – I more or less put it together. Congratulations to Checo. He did an incredible job today.”

Carlos Sainz can’t wait for the race: “It’s going to be exciting. All four cars mixed up between the Ferraris and the Red Bulls.”

Final Classification:

In Other News: Bahrain GP 2022 Report

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