Jeddah’s latest updates as Verstappen begin June 15

Welcome to our live coverage of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. After Max Verstappen drove home to victory on the opening lap, it will have a more difficult task to take victory in the second race of the new season after suffering a mechanical problem in qualifying.

Verstappen, who had led every session up to that point and was miles ahead in Q1, suffered a driveshaft failure in the second part of qualifying yesterday without a lap on the board. So he starts the race today as 15th. In fairness it is probably just as good as the dominance he has shown meant a repeat of his easy win in Bahrain two weeks ago looked very likely. As an example, the gap between Verstappen and second-placed Sergio Perez in Q1 was greater than the gap between Perez and 12th-placed Esteban Ocon…

Ultimately it was Perez who found time in Q3 to claim his second career pole position – his last came a year ago at the circuit although he was unable to convert it into a win. Charles Leclerc set a fairly encouraging lap for Ferrari, just a tenth and a half behind Perez’s time. The concern is that the gap might have been closer to a second had Verstappen made it into Q3. However, Leclerc will lose 10 places on the grid due to an unscheduled change of drive unit and will start from 12th place.


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