Formula 1

Formula 1: Hamilton takes pole as Verstappen throws it away on his final lap.

Featured Image Credit: @F1 Official Twitter

Lewis Hamilton takes pole position in Saudi Arabia as Max Verstappen, who was looking set to steal pole, destroyed his time and his suspension on the final corner of his last lap. Valtteri Bottas takes 2nd, giving the advantage to Mercedes this weekend.


The cars were lining up immediately before the session got underway. After tyre heating issues, all teams wanted as much track time possible around this enigma of a circuit.

Hamilton intially took the fastest time, but as the track evolved, many midfield cars suddenly mixed up the order. Both McLarens managed to get within 0.1s of Hamilton’s effort, while Sainz was able to overhaul the Briton completely. With 5 minutes to go, the top 15 were separated by only 0.7s.

Eventually, Perez ended up top after a hugely mixed session. This only added to the previous questions from the practice sessions. At the end of the session, Bottas complained of misfires with his newly replaced power unit and his car ground to a hault just inside the pit area.

The disparity between the midfield cars and the backmarkers was incredibly noticeable. Aston Martin unfortunately joined this group, never looking like they could escape Q1. Haas took their regular places at the back of the grid, while Russell outqualified his team-mate yet again. finish 14th to Latifi’s 16th.


  • 16th Latifi
  • 17th Vettel
  • 18th Stroll
  • 19th Schumacher
  • 20th Mazepin


There was a familiar scenario in the pitlane as every car was queuing to get out immediately. One of the big talking points of the weekend had been the performance of the tyres. Most drivers appeared to be focusing on their strategy as 14 of the 15 drivers came out on the medium compound tyre.

Verstappen’s first lap time took him to 1st, leading a Red Bull 1-2, Hamilton trailed by 0.7s and slotted into 5th. Eventually, Mercedes would improve, with Hamilton just edging out Perez and Verstappen.

Meanwhile, the start of Sainz’s session was not going well. The Ferrari driver had his first laptime deleted for track extending and then he damaged his rear wing during a spin. He came back to the pits with 5 minutes remaining. He was just able to make it back out, but an off-track excursion spoiled any chance he had.

Ricciardo was unable to progress into Q3, less than 0.1s behind Giovinazzi in 10th. Raikkonen finished behind in 12th, his lap spoiled as he made slight contact with Bottas whilst overtaking. Alonso finished an unremarkable 13th while, due to Sainz being unable to set a time, Russell was able to finish 14th.


  • 11th Ricciardo
  • 12th Raikkonen
  • 13th Alonso
  • 14th Russell
  • 15th Sainz


There was an atmosphere of tension as the cars started their final laps. This was further amplified as Hamilton ran wide on his first lap, destroying his attempt. His second attempt wasn’t enough to topple Verstappen’s all purple lap. The championship rivals were separated by 0.3s and this was made worse as Bottas climbed to 2nd after his first stint. Perez’s strong performance so far was fading now as he was intially pipped to 4th by Gasly.

Hamilton gave himself 6 minutes of laps at the end of the session. His first lap took him to provisional pole, 0.1s ahead of his championship rival. On his final lap, Verstappen was set to take pole with an incredible final lap, but on the exit of the final corner, Verstappen lost the rear of the car and hit the wall. This resigned Verstappen to 3rd, behind Hamilton and Bottas.

Leclerc surprised with a last lap jump to 4th, putting Perez in an unideal position for the race tomorrow. Gasly took yet another top 6 finish in his remarkable season, while Norris took a solid 7th place. Tsunoda managed a Q3 appearance and took 8th, ahead of Ocon and a strong finishing Giovinazzi.


  1. Hamilton
  2. Bottas
  3. Verstappen
  4. Leclerc
  5. Perez
  6. Gasly
  7. Norris
  8. Tsunoda
  9. Ocon
  10. Giovinazzi

@Featured Image Credit: @F1 Official Twitter


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