(Jeddah) Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) will start Sunday in the lead position of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, second round of the Formula 1 World Championship, ahead of Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin).

Reigning two-time world champion Max Verstappen, who had dominated all three free practice sessions and the first part of qualifying (Q1), was surprisingly eliminated in Q2 and will start from 15th position. He suddenly lost power and said in English over his radio “engine trouble”.

The Dutchman will therefore have a lot to do on Sunday on the urban circuit of Jeddah to hope to achieve the double in the Gulf after his success in Bahrain at the start of the season two weeks ago.

Monegasque Charles Leclerc, who set the second fastest time in Q3 at 155/1000ths from Pérez, will only start in 12th position on Sunday. He had indeed received a ten-place penalty on the starting grid after the replacement of an electronic component following the inaugural Grand Prix during which he had been forced to retire.

The second row will be occupied by the Briton George Russell (Mercedes) and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), who limited the breakage for the Scuderia. They will be followed by Canadian Lance Stroll, who has confirmed Aston Martin’s good dispositions since the start of the season, and Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine).

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) will only start in seventh position, just ahead of Australian novice Oscar Piastri (McLaren) who takes a nice eighth place for the second F1 Grand Prix of his career.

The top 10 is completed by the other Frenchman from Alpine, Pierre Gasly, and the German Nico Hulkenberg (Haas).