Max Verstappen hits qualifying concern, finishes fifteenth

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Max Verstappen will begin fifteenth on the grid on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after his Pink Bull’s driveshaft broke in the course of the second a part of qualifying.

The reigning champion was the clear favorite for pole place after ending 0.6s away from his nearest rival in remaining observe and doubling down on that benefit within the first session of qualifying.

However the issue, which occurred on his first try in Q2, meant he was unable to finish a flying lap within the second session and was subsequently categorised fifteenth.

“The car is not accelerating,” Verstappen stated over workforce radio shortly after the issue occurred.

Verstappen returned the automobile to the pits, but it surely turned instantly clear that he wouldn’t be capable of proceed.

Verstappen and Pink Bull later confirmed it had been a driveshaft concern.

“In Turn 10 the driveshaft just broke, so that’s really unfortunate,” Verstappen stated after qualifying. “And, also, something I don’t really understand, because we never had any issues with that so far this year. But it did happen and we’ll analyze everything and try to understand how that happen.”

The frustration follows a dominant victory for Verstappen on the opening spherical of the season in Bahrain, which earmarked him as the person to beat heading to Saudi Arabia.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez made good on Pink Bull’s potential by qualifying on pole place.

Fernando Alonso continued Aston Martin’s feel-good story by securing a spot alongside Perez on the entrance row of the grid. Alonso claimed a podium behind the Pink Bulls on the Bahrain Grand Prix and can really feel assured about one other robust end result on Sunday night.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had crushed Alonso to second place in qualifying however will drop 10 locations as a penalty for the workforce taking over further engine elements earlier this week, which means he’ll be part of Verstappen within the second half of the grid.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will begin in seventh.