A new story from The Autosport Podcast


Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying at the Jeddah Cornish circuit, it was a Red Bull on pole position, but not the world champion. One year on from his first fall position, came the second for Sergio Pérez, the Mexican driver posting a lap time of one 28 two 6 5 narrowly edging out Ferrari charla Claire, who will start 12th because of a ten place grid drop third was Fernando Alonso four and a half tenths behind Perez, but he moves up to start second for an Aston Martin, front row. Max Verstappen suffered a dramatic Q two exit cause of a driveshaft issue, and will race from a disappointing 15th. I am joined by auto sports Jake boxhall leg our new F one writer who is in Saudi Arabia. Jake, you're not new to covering series. You've been a technical editor for a long time. You've been covering formulary, but congratulations on moving up to join the F one team and we're looking forward to hearing more of you on the podcast this year. How's it going? Because Saudi Arabia is your first travel. Is that right? Yeah, so first of all, thank you very much, Martin. That's very kind. It's a lot to get used to. And as you say, I've been doing formula E for the past year in a bit. That has its certain ways. You have a certain freedom in the paddocks that would certain degree. In Formula One, it's so much bigger, so much more grandiose, and it's just getting used to everything, getting used to all of these scheduled media sessions and everything like that. So it has been a big kind of step, a lot to learn. Guys, sound like a driver, don't they? Well, we are delighted to hear more from you in Formula One and for you to be at some circuits this year and, of course, you're in Saudi Arabia and so tell us about what you saw today. That was a good performance. A great performance even from Sergio Pérez his second pole position, but this should really have been a Red Bull front row lockout, shouldn't it? Undoubtedly, I mean, going through practice, FP one, FP two, FP three, Max Verstappen was considerably faster than every single entity on the grid. Even his own teammate by FP three, he was over half a tenth quicker. He was the second quicker than Fernando Alonso as well. It was a huge, huge advantage that he had over the rest of the field. And to see Perez on pole, it's a surprise and I'm sure we'll get into a little bit later as to why Verstappen didn't get poll. I think he was pretty much odds on. And facing intervened as it were. All through the practice sessions looked like they were just waiting to start turning up the car. I don't think there's any secret. This was going to be a Max Verstappen pole position. If you put it all together and didn't make a mistake, yesterday on the podcast, with Hayden, our editor of auto sport dot com, we talked about how opportunities will arrive arise for others, probably because of reliability. All the odd mistake and well, look, that's going to happen. Can you just fill us in on exactly what happened with Max Verstappen and why there was no chance of getting him out to do a fix and get him out into qualifying? In Q one, he was considerably faster than everybody else, and it just looks like an absolute benefit concert for him. As Matthew and I were walking through the paddock yesterday, he just turned to me Verstappen had just finished the session four tenths faster than everybody else and Q said to me. Well, you might as well just start writing your report now, mate. It seems like I don't have to yet. And as I said, Verstappen was considerably faster than everyone else. It was about half a tenth quick in Perez. But Q two, he made a little bit of a mistake on his first lap. He had a big, what he called a big moment. And so he had to abandon that lap and go for a second one. He was doing planning to do two cool down laps and then he was going to go again on the same set of tires, but partway through that went through sector one. Things were going okay. Wasn't the quickest, but it was a competitive sector one time, and he was ready to go. And then sector two, the drive shaft failed. And he started. You could see his onboard. You could hear his on board. He was going through the gears and then just suddenly he just lost drive and you can hear that kind of dull, flat sound as the accelerator just kind of dropped off with no gearing at all. And he did manage to crawl back, but yeah, it was a drive shaft failure for Verstappen and he didn't have a representative time on the board, so it was P 15 for him. So although it's a big shame for him and it's a big shame for Red Bull because they were so competitive and they were so strong and they've just done the best job out of everybody. For everybody else, this is a big opportunity now for them to make the most of it. Verstappen is still going to come through the field tomorrow. I don't see any doubts about that, but as I say, this is a big chance for everybody else to make the most of it. There's a couple of big up overtaking opportunities here, a couple of big stops. What did Verstappen say after qualifying in terms of his chances of getting on the podium? I don't think he's too un optimistic, let's say. I think he expects Perez to make the most of that Red Bull and just go for it. But he has his opportunities. He's got DRS, he's got a very, very first car that's good in a straight line. So it shouldn't really be too much of a problem for him to deal with to be quite honest. That Red Bull was very, very strong. He should make his way through into the top 5 relatively quickly and it might be a repeat of spot last year or wait and see. I hope he gets a little bit more of a run for his money, but you'd have to say the smart money is on that happening. I think a lot will depend on when the red flag comes because if there's anything about this circuit, there's going to be a red flag. Well, it's been genuinely very, very clean and until qualifying today. All of the rookie drivers have been very, very fine in practice. Logan Sargent I did have a few issues in Q one. It's set a time, good enough to go through to Q two, gone off track, is Laplace canceled. And then he seemed to kind of snowball and he just kind of lost his way a little bit. And we were speaking to Dave Robson and Williams after that. And he said, he just needs to learn that this small mistakes like the one that cost him his first lap. It's not the end of the world, and he just needs to reset and go again properly.

Coming up next