Perez pole statement; Schumacher ‘physically fine’ after the collision

Pole Qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrate during qualifying before the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 26, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Lars Baron | beautiful pictures

Sergio Perez took pole position in a dramatic Saudi Arabia qualifier that saw Lewis Hamilton knocked out early in the round of 16 and two drivers critically injured, Mick Schumacher being rushed to hospital after a big somersault.

Perez overcame the Ferraris for a fantastic and unexpected first pole position for Red Bull in his 219th Grand Prix, with an epic third-quarter penalty shootout completing a Jeddah elimination session full of key moments. .

Nicholas Latifi had previously fallen in Q1 at Williams before a huge shock when Hamilton, F1’s most successful driver in a previously dominated Mercedes, was knocked out in the segment for the first time since last year. 2017.

There were more red flags in Q2 as Schumacher lost control of his Haas car to a major crash in Turn 12, which resulted in an hour’s delay in qualifying as the Haas car was removed and the road repaired. Jeddah Street.

Schumacher was airlifted to hospital but is said to be “physically fine” and released on Saturday night. However, he will miss Sunday’s race.

Ten drivers have been through Q3, and not many are predicting Perez as the favorite.

But just as Charles Leclerc looked set to take on the Ferrari one-two on the grid for Sunday’s race, Perez took one of the laps of his career to beat Monegasque by just 0.025 seconds.

Carlos Sainz was third behind Max Verstappen, Perez’s Red Bull teammate, who surprised color when it mattered most. Red Bull and Ferrari will most likely go head to head to win the fastest F1 street race.

George Russell, managing to get more out of Mercedes than Hamilton, qualified sixth behind the impressive Esteban Ocon in Alpine.

Saudi Arabia GP qualifying results – top 10

  1. Sergio Perez, Red Bull
  2. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
  5. Esteban Ocon, Alpine
  6. George Russell, Mercedes
  7. Fernando Alonso, Alpine
  8. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  9. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauris
  10. Kevin Magnussen, Haas

Hamilton’s Q1 Exit and Scary Crashes: The Qualy Drama in Saudi Arabia

The qualifying round of the Saudi Arabian GP comes after crisis talks between drivers late on Friday following a missile attack on a nearby oil facility. Ultimately, between F1, the FIA ​​and the grid have decided that they will go ahead with the Jeddah event, with final practice and qualifying going as planned on Saturday.

There was a lot of drama throughout the shootout series, and it all started in Q1 with Latifi’s collision in Turn 13, with Williams being the first to cross the bounds of the uncompromising Corniche round. He was taken to the medical center, but was unharmed.

That led to one of the biggest shocks in recent qualifying memory with Hamilton being knocked out in 16th place.

It wasn’t the weather or bad luck; Hamilton came down in that position for lack of pace alone and despite his best efforts and making many laps on the softest tyres, he suffered a humiliating exit as Lance Stroll improved.

It was the first time he was eliminated in Q1 since the 2017 Brazilian GP when he crashed and also the first time he had no mitigating factor since the 2009 British GP.

Hamilton looked surprised when talking about the deficit with Russell, who is fourth in that segment, and Sky F1’s Paul Di Resta said: “It’s not the Lewis Hamilton we know.

“There must be something wrong inside that car.”

Then there was another collision, this time more significant, when Schumacher darted sideways into the hurdles in Turn 12 in Q2.

Race field marshals clear debris from the track after Haas’ Mick Schumacher crashed while qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 26, 2022.

Clive Mason | beautiful pictures

The pictures didn’t replay immediately – leading to concerns about his health – although the German, son of F1 legend Michael, is said to have remained sober before arriving at the medical centre.

Haas said he was “physically fine” but he was taken to hospital in a helicopter for further checks. He was released later but will not be in line for Sunday’s race, and Haas will not call a replacement.

Perez sets up another Red Bull vs Ferrari battle

After an hour’s delay, the second quarter was over – with Lando Norris narrowly dodging a top 10 shootout at McLaren – before Ferrari looked like it was heading for the third-quarter title battle.

Verstappen, who was mostly Red Bull’s main driver on Saturday, endured what he described as a “terrible” first lap while Leclerc and Sainz found form again. But it looks like Ferrari will continue the perfect start to F1 2022, Perez has pumped in purple patches on his way to winning the column.

“I can do 1,000 laps and I don’t think I can beat that round, it’s unbelievable,” said the Mexican.

It is set for a trivia race with Red Bull and Ferrari fighting in the front and a mixed net in the back. Watch it all on Sky Sports F1 at 6pm, airing from 4:30pm.

Saudi Arabia GP Qualifier Timesheet

position Driver Team Time
first Sergio Perez Red Bull 01: 28.2
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.025
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.202
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.261
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.868
6 George Russell Mercedes +0.904
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine +0.947
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +0.983
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1.054
ten Kevin Magnussen Haas +1,388
11 Lando Norris McLaren 01: 29.7
twelfth Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 01: 29.8
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 01: 29.8
14 Mick Schumacher Haas 01: 29.9
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 01: 31.0
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 01: 30.3
17 Alex Albon Williams 01: 30.5
18 Nico Hulkenburg Aston Martin 01: 30.5
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 01: 31.8
20 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri No time set

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