Max Verstappen encounters qualifying problem, finishes 15th

Lawrence EdmondsonF1 editorRead for 1 minute

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Max Verstappen finished 15th in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after losing power in his Red Bull during the second part of the session.

The reigning champion was the clear favorite for pole position after leading his nearest rival by 0.6 seconds in final practice and doubling that advantage in the first qualifying session.

But due to the loss of power, which occurred on his first attempt in Q2, he was unable to complete a lap in the second session and was therefore classified 15th.

“The car is not accelerating,” Verstappen said over the team radio shortly after the problem occurred.

Verstappen brought the car back to the pits but it immediately became clear that he would not be able to continue.

The disappointment follows a dominant win for Verstappen in the opening round of the season in Bahrain, making him the man to beat heading into Saudi Arabia.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez made up for Red Bull’s potential by qualifying in pole position.

Fernando Alonso continued Aston Martin’s feel-good story by securing a spot alongside Perez on the front row.

Alonso claimed a podium behind the Red Bulls at the Bahrain Grand Prix and will be confident of another strong result on Sunday night. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will start seventh.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had beaten Alonso to second in qualifying but will drop 10 places as punishment for the team taking on extra engine parts earlier this week, meaning he will join Verstappen in the second half of the grid.

Leave a Comment