Max Verstappen Takes Pole, Bearman Steps Up for Sainz

March 8, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Max Verstappen claimed his first pole position at Jeddah today which felt like a bit of redemption after “the lap that never was” a few years ago that surely would’ve seen Verstappen set the lap record. His blistering 1m 27.472s lap sent him 3 tenths clear of Charles Leclerc who also had a late charge in Q3 to take P2. In third came Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

Fernando Alonso also put his name in the mix finishing qualifying with a best lap a mere 0.046s slower than Sergio Perez. Aston Martin displayed formidable pace in Q3. On paper this could see Fernando Alonso into podium contention. Jeddah is a track known for its tight, high speed corners. Jeddah is one of the least forgiving circuits on the Formula 1 schedule leaving almost no margin for error. Aston Martin is looking to bounce back after a disappointing first round of the season saw them fall behind substantially in pace to the McLarens. Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris finished P5 and P6 respectively in Q3. It would be a mistake to write them off for podium contention.

Substitute Ferrari Driver Oliver Bearman Falls Short in Q2 but Shows Promise

Oliver Bearman got the call this weekend that Carlos Sainz would not be able to continue the race weekend due to a diagnosis of appendicitis. Bearman had limited time to get acquianted with the data gathered thus far and had to put it into practice ahead of qualifying. Bearmen successfully made it out of Q1 but fell just short in Q2; finish P11 overall. Bearman was excited about the opportunity to step up.

“It’s been a great day but it could have been even better. It wasn’t the ideal way of making my F1 debut and of course I send all my best wishes to Carlos for a speedy recovery. But it’s a great opportunity nevertheless. I would have liked to have come to [qualifying] with more than the 22 laps I did in FP3. But I can still be happy with today, even if Q2 was a bit messy. It was so close, but I made a mistake on my first push lap, so I had to do a second one and by then the tires were no longer at their best. Now I’m ready to make the most of this opportunity tomorrow. I will focus on bringing the car home, although points would be nice. But it’s my first race on a really difficult track, so I can’t expect too much.”

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix kicks off tomorrow.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Qualifying Results

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:28.1711:28.0331:27.472
216Charles LeclercFERRARI1:28.3181:28.1121:27.791
311Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:28.6381:28.4671:27.807
414Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:28.7061:28.1221:27.846
581Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:28.7551:28.3431:28.089
64Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:28.8051:28.4791:28.132
763George RussellMERCEDES1:28.7491:28.4481:28.316
844Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:28.9941:28.6061:28.460
922Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:28.9881:28.5641:28.547
1018Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:28.2501:28.5781:28.572
1138Oliver BearmanFERRARI1:28.9841:28.642
1223Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:29.1071:28.980
1320Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:29.0691:29.020
143Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:29.0651:29.025
1527Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:29.055DNF
1677Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:29.179
1731Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:29.475
1810Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:29.479
192Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:29.526