Max Verstappen to start Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from 15TH after ‘very annoying mechanical failure’
MadMax! World champion Verstappen will start the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from 15th after a “very annoying mechanical failure” at turn 10… and the Red Bull star is asking his fans to be “realistic” and many still they hope you win.
- Verstappen’s Red Bull suffered a mechanical driveshaft failure during the second quarter
- The Red Bull had been consistently fast for the Dutchman in previous practices.
- But Verstappen has not ruled out the possibility of a fight on Sunday.
Max Verstappen’s hopes of a second straight grand prix win to start 2023 were dealt a blow after the Dutchman failed to qualify on Saturday.
The reigning world champion was eliminated in Q2 after suffering an engine failure, and will start 15th on the grid during tomorrow’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.
Red Bull confirmed that their car had suffered a mechanical driveshaft failure, after Verstappen lost acceleration power.
Unsurprisingly, the Dutch driver was frustrated by his early start, but urged caution before ruling out his chances.
“No, it’s the first time I’ve heard about it,” Verstappen admitted when asked if he knew the root of the problem. “Coming out of turn 10 it happened, which is very annoying.
‘I think we’ve had a very good weekend so far, every session has gone well, the car has worked very well.
‘Now it will be a bit more difficult to get to the front, but it will be about scoring points.
‘Of course, I would have liked to look further down the road, but there is nothing I can do now.
“Let’s be real: it’s going to be tough, but we’ve got a good pace, so let’s keep going.”
The Red Bull driver will not hesitate to challenge the firepower he encountered during last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, which saw Verstappen tear through the field from a starting position of 14th to win the race.
Qualifying concluded with Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez taking pole position, ensuring the day ended on a high note for the constructor.
Charles Leclerc, who was forced to retire from the season-opening race in Bahrain due to engine failure in his Ferrari, finished second fastest but due to an impending 10-place grid penalty, will start 12th. tomorrow.
Fernando Alonso will therefore join Pérez on the front row to start second.
George Russell and his Mercedes will line up third on the grid, five places ahead of his star teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The pair’s team principal Toto Wolff was open on Friday and said he would not stand in the seven-time world champion’s way if Mercedes could not make next season’s car up to championship standards.