Formula 1: Alone in the world, Verstappen will start from pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) will start on Saturday in pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the second round of 24 of the Formula 1 season, after dominating qualifying on Friday evening on the Jeddah urban circuit. The three-time world champion, who won the 34th pole of his career, the second in two races this year, beat Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and his Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez by 319 and 335 thousandths respectively.

This is the first time in four participations that “Mad Max” has managed to tame the fast Saudi track in qualifying and take first place on the grid. He will once again be the big favorite for the race which will be contested at night on Saturday. “The day went very well. We improved the car compared to yesterday (Thursday) and that gave me more confidence. I felt very comfortable in the car today (Friday). The races are often a bit crazy here but I am confident that the car will work very well,” explained the Dutchman.

As in Bahrain last weekend, Leclerc snatched second place and will start on the front row alongside Verstappen for the fifth time in a row. Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) took fourth place, ahead of the two McLarens of Australian Oscar Piastri and Briton Lando Norris. The fourth row will be occupied by the two Mercedes of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, while the Top 10 is completed by the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (Racing Bulls) and the Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin).

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British novice Oliver Bearman, who had to replace Spaniard Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari seat at short notice, who was successfully operated on for appendicitis on Friday, took 11th place for the first participation in Formula qualifying of his career. 1. The Briton, who on Sunday at 18 years and 10 months will become the third youngest driver in history to start an F1 Grand Prix, missed qualifying in Q3 by a hair when he had discovered the SF24 single-seater only a few hours earlier during the third free practice session.

On the French side, it’s still grimaces since Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly will only start in 17th and 18th positions at the wheel of their Alpine single-seater, a week after taking 19th and 20th places in qualifying in Bahrain.