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Perez takes Saudi GP pole, Verstappen to start 15th after engine issue

Lars Baron / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Red Bull's Sergio Perez won the pole for Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after posting the fastest time in Saturday's qualifying session in Jeddah.

Teammate Max Verstappen was forced to bow out in Q2 due to an engine issue and will start in 15th.

Verstappen will try to become only the second driver in Formula 1 history, and first since Fernando Alonso at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, to win a race when starting in 15th place.

Position Driver Team Time
1 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:28.265
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.155
3 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.465
4 George Russell Mercedes +0.592
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.666
6 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +0.680
7 Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.813
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.958
9 Oscar Piastri McLaren +0.978
10 Pierre Gasly Alpine +1.092
11 Nico Hulkenberg Haas Q2
12 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Q2
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas Q2
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Q2
15 Max Verstappen Red Bull Q2
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Q1
17 Alex Albon Williams Q1
18 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Q1
19 Lando Norris McLaren Q1
20 Logan Sargeant Williams Q1

Perez is hopeful Verstappen can rise up the grid during Sunday's race and join him on the podium.

"You really feel Formula 1 cars coming alive in this place," Perez said, adding, "Max has been really strong this weekend. Hopefully, tomorrow we can have both cars up there.

Despite posting the second-fastest time in qualifying, Charles Leclerc will begin Sunday's race in 12th. He took a 10-spot penalty on the grid after Ferrari was forced to fit another electronics power unit component.

Alonso continued his strong start to his first season with Aston Martin. The veteran secured a podium finish at the season opener in Bahrain.

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