ICYMI – Saudi Arabia GP: Perez grabs pole as Max 15th after driveshaft failure

RedBull still on form, Mercedes, Ferrari, struggling to unleash potential

8 mins read

18:10 I’ll sign off for now, but come back tomorrow for what is promising to be a fantastic race. As always this season, Brig has you covered for live F1 coverage

18:09 I know it’s only the 2nd race, but checo really needed this result and misfortune to hit Max if he is to not fall to far behind, points wise and mentally in this longest ever season.


18:03 Alonso gets a front row tomorrow, followed by Russell, Sainz, and Stroll

18:02 After grid penalty Leclerc will start 12th 3 places ahead of Max Verstappen in 15th.

18:01 Leclerc shows the Ferrari has some underlying pace as he goes 2nd just a tenth and a half off Perez who grabs pole position.

18:00 Stroll has no pace left in the third sector and comes in 5th

17:59 He goes 2nd but Stroll is purple in the first sector

17:58 Alonso is improving with a PB in the 2nd sector

17:57 3 minutes to go!

17:53 Perez pops in a time half a second faster than Leclerc, who will take a ten place penalty for tomorrow. Russel sits third, Alonso and Hamilton completing the top 5

17:50 Here we go, who’s gonna grab this chance? Alonso is first up, 2 tenths behind Perez’s best of Q2

17:48 Q3 underway

17:43 Well well well, this has blown up an otherwise potentially mundane Max flag to flag victory. The Midfield battle will now become the fight at the front, and the champion will be fighting back from the back with a much faster car.

17:40 The spainard makes it into 4th with his final push. Out in Q2 are:
11th Hulkenburg
12th Zhou
13th Magnussen
14th Bottas

17:39 Sainz is just not getting the rub of the green. currently 11th he really needs this final lap to count.

17:36 Meanwhile, with the other 14 cars in the session, Hulkenburg, Bottas, Zhou, and Sainz are all in the drop zone

17:35 Is this Alonso’s chance of a pole in an Aston Martin?


17:33 He gets to the pits but with 7 minutes to go will a software reboot get the champion back on track?

17:32 The Champion is struggling to get back to the pits, currently just entering sector 3


17:29 Redbull are on used softs for both cars as they have less tyres for Q3 left over so Alonso in with a shout of topping the session

17:27 Alonso first to hit the track in anger and he sets a time half a tenth faster than Max managed in Q1

17:24 Q2 underway

17:20 OUT IN Q1:
16th Tsunoda
17th Albon
18th De Vries
19th Norris
20th Sargeant

17:19 Piastri spares McLaren’s blushes by popping up in 11th while Norris is down in 19th

17:16 A minute left and in the drop zone is Sargeant, Gasly, De Vries, Tsunoda, and Norris

17:15 Norris looking like he’ll be out of qualifying with the mechanics frantically trying to fix a steering rod on the left of his car after his brief encounter with one of the walls.


with 4 minutes to go rookie Logan Sargeant drops it in turn 22 and somehow doesn’t touch a wall

17:12 some of the mistakes so far in the opening session…

17:10 Fernando Alonso also goes for a spin after being a bit heavy on the throttle out of the more technical part of this fast track. Uncharacteristic from the veteran.

17:09 Lando Norris is trailing his rookie teammate by three tenths after he kissed the wall with his front left

17:07 Max is straight to the top of the timings, a full half a second exactly ahead of Perez. Hulkenburg, Russell and Leclerc complete the top 5 after most of the first runs are done.

17:04 Ferrari really struggling for pace. Leclerc first lap in anger is 2 tenths slower than Hulkenburg in the Haas, that also runs the same power unit

17:02 First drama of the day goes to rookie Nyck De Vries as his car spins at turn one under braking. Having missed FP3 with engine issues in the Alpha Tauri that was his first taste of the track of the day.

17:00 GREEN LIGHT: Q1 underway

16:58 If this championship is so far out of reach already by the chasing pack, lets hope that Perez can up his game and challenge his teammate for the honours at the end of the year

16:55 Just 5 minutes to go, FP3 seen the Redbulls way out in front, but it is looking good for close racing and more importantly for now a tight qualifying session for everyone behind.


16:50 Mercedes are also floundering compared to their years of dominance of the sport with the fallout of last time out already hitting with the team decisively now moving away from their size zero sidepod concept as they desperately try to claw their way back to the front to try and deliver 7 time champion Hamilton a chance at a record eight championship

Side by side concept of Mercedes to leading Redbull car

16:47 Ferrari were looking set to be the ones to move up and challenge after last season, but reliability concerns have stuck around. Leclerc retired last week while running up at the front, and is to take a ten place grid penalty already at just the 2nd round due to power unit use.

16:45 Two weeks ago seen the commencement of the new season with Max Verstappen and his RedBull team seemingly unstoppable regardless of the impact of their development punishment metted out by the FIA after overspending during this new era of cost cap.

16:42 Remember we are running a weekly meme competition. No prizes other than that our team will pick out the best at the end of the races on a sunday that you send to us via the hastag #BrigF1 and have them published here once the dust settles.

16:40 We are back in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for round 2 of the 2023 Formula one championship.

Stick around for as-it-happens commentary of qualifying and you wont miss a thing.

+ posts

Trying to find my voice in the modern digital journalism landscape.
Have a creative flair, and not scared to rock the boat.

%d bloggers like this: