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Perez takes pole position for Saudi Arabian GP with Verstappen out



Dramatic qualifying gives Perez his second career pole

In a dramatic qualifying on the Jeddah street track, Perez grabbed his second career F1 pole position, 12 months on from his maiden pole which came at the same circuit.

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Verstappen’s driveshaft failure puts him in 15th place

It came after Max Verstappen dropped out of qualifying in Q2 when he suffered a driveshaft failure with his Red Bull, which means he will start the Saudi Arabian GP from 15th place on the grid.

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Alonso qualifies third, will start alongside Perez

Perez will be joined on the front row by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who qualified third but moves up one spot due to Charles Leclerc’s 10-place grid penalty due to exceeding his permitted use of electronic package in his Ferrari. The penalty pushes Leclerc back to 12th place on the grid.

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Verstappen and Leclerc’s issues benefit other drivers

As a result, a whole host of drivers benefitted from the reliability woes of Verstappen and Leclerc, with George Russell moving up to third for Mercedes and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in fourth.

Hamilton struggles, starts in seventh place

Lance Stroll will line up in fifth place for Aston Martin, ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon while Lewis Hamilton will start from seventh place after struggling to extract performance from his Mercedes.

How to watch the Saudi Arabian GP in the UK

The 2nd round of the 2023 F1 season, the Saudi Arabian GP at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, gets underway at 8:00pm local time (5:00pm GMT) on Sunday 19 March.

In the United Kingdom Formula 1 is broadcast live on Sky Sports, with highlights shown on Channel 4 several hours after the race has finished. Live streaming through NOW is also available in the UK.

Sky Sports F1, which broadcasts the F1 races, can be added as part of the Sky Sports channels which costs £24 a month for new customers. Sky Sports can also be accessed through NOW with a one-off day payment of £11.98p or a month membership of £34.99p per month.

In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports will be live broadcasting the Saudi Arabian GP, with the race shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event. Pre-race coverage will start at 3:30pm on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event, ahead of the race start at 5:00pm GMT.

Autosport will be running a live text coverage of the Saudi Arabian GP here.

In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of the Saudi Arabian GP at 10:15pm GMT on Sunday. The full programme will run for two hours and 35 minutes, covering the pre-race, the race highlights and the initial post-race reaction to wrap up the major talking points of the race weekend.

For the entire 2023 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.

Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2023 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live, 5 Live Sports Extra stations, the BBC Sounds app and the via the BBC Sport website.

Live coverage of the Saudi Arabian GP will start at 5:00pm GMT on BBC Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sounds app.

Weather forecast and race information

Current weather forecasts predict hot and dry conditions at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, with a gentle breeze a very low chance of rain. The temperature is expected to be 26 degrees Celsius for the start of the race.

The race is scheduled to complete 50 laps at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, covering a total race distance of 308.450km.

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