2024 Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying: Verstappen Breaks Jeddah Pole Jinx

Max Verstappen's Saudi pole builds on his first win of the season, while Charles Leclerc comes through in second ahead of Sergio Perez.


By Ben Bush
Updated on March 9, 2024

Charles Leclerc Max Verstappen Sergio Perez 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Qualifying
P1 Max Verstappen, P2 Charles Leclerc, P3 Sergio Perez – 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Qualifying – Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has continued his quest to retain the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, outpacing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for pole position at Saturday’s 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

After leading Red Bull to a commanding one-two finish in the season’s opening race in Bahrain, Verstappen strengthened his championship lead, clinching pole position by 0.3 seconds at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

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Charles Leclerc for Ferrari delivered a stunning performance to finish just behind Verstappen, preventing Red Bull from locking out the front row as Sergio Perez settled for third.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso showed pace again, securing a fourth position after a lacklustre performance in Bahrain, ahead of the McLaren pair of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.

George Russell, who seemed in contention for a higher spot, finished seventh due to an error on his final lap. Yet he managed to outperform his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton once again, who ended up in eighth.

Yuki Tsunoda, recovering from a last race’s controversy over team orders and the cool-down lap, impressed by claiming ninth spot for RB, while Lance Stroll for Aston Martin completed the top ten.

Oliver Bearman, taking Carlos Sainz’s seat at Ferrari following Sainz’s appendicitis surgery, narrowly missed the top ten, finishing eleventh after a close run in Q1 and Q2.

Bearman opens up

In a post-qualifying interview, Ollie Bearman opened up on his first F1 qualifying session:

“At the moment not so proud, the racer in me knows that the car was quick enough to be in Q3, so a little bit disappointed with that.

“But I know that when I look back in a couple of days I’ll be quite proud of what I’ve managed to do today.

“The goal was to do as many laps as possible. Especially at night, I missed FP2 which is not ideal. That was the goal.

“The soft tyre lasts quite well, it’s quite durable, so just tried to get as many laps in Q1. Q2 was a bit more messy, a few mistakes on my side, so that’s where I’m disappointed.”

Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying Results

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, 8 March 2024

1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:28.1711:28.0331:27.472
2Charles LeclercFerrari1:28.3181:28.1121:27.791
3Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing1:28.6381:28.4671:27.807
4Fernando AlonsoAston Martin1:28.7061:28.1221:27.846
5Oscar PiastriMcLaren1:28.7551:28.3431:28.089
6Lando NorrisMcLaren1:28.8051:28.4791:28.132
7George RussellMercedes1:28.7491:28.4481:28.316
8Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:28.9941:28.6061:28.460
9Yuki TsunodaRB1:28.9881:28.5641:28.547
10Lance StrollAston Martin1:28.2501:28.5781:28.572
11Oliver BearmanFerrari1:28.9841:28.642
12Alexander AlbonWilliams1:29.1071:28.980
13Kevin MagnussenHaas1:29.0691:29.020
14Daniel RicciardoRB1:29.0651:29.025
15Nico HulkenbergHaas1:29.055DNF
16Valtteri BottasSauber1:29.179
17Esteban OconAlpine1:29.475
18Pierre GaslyAlpine1:29.479
19Logan SargeantWilliams1:29.526
NCZhou GuanyuSauberDNF

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Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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