Formula One: Red Bull’s Perez takes pole for Saudi GP, as Verstappen hits trouble

Red Bull's Sergio Perez after qualifying in pole position for the Saudi Arabian grand prix. PHOTO: REUTERS

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will start from pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but his teammate, world champion Max Verstappen, will only be in 15th after pulling up with a car problem during Saturday’s qualifying.

Perez, who also took pole in last year’s race here, topped the leaderboard with a best lap of 1 minute 28.265 seconds.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was second, 0.155sec behind Perez, but faces a 10-place grid drop, leaving Fernando Alonso to start on the front row in his Aston Martin.

Verstappen topped all the practice sessions but pulled up with a mechanical problem in Q2.

The Dutchman, who won the opening race in Bahrain at the start of the month, reported to his team “I have a problem” before adding “it’s almost not accelerating”.

He was unable to continue. AFP

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, pictured during qualifying, will start towards the back of the grid. PHOTO: REUTERS

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