Sergio Perez sits on pole for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix after an explosive qualifying session.
Aside from the Mexican’s first career pole, the main story was the continued struggles of Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton failing to get out of Q1 and starting the race way back in 15th position. Hamilton is nine grid places behind his teammate, George Russell, casting doubts over his performance in a car that seriously lacks straight-line speed compared to its rivals.
The McLarens of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris both went out in Q2, but the session was stopped for nearly an hour after Mick Schumacher had a horrifying crash into a concrete barrier at Turn 12. Thankfully, after being airlifted to hospital, Schumacher was not found to have suffered any injury but it was a long wait before the track was safe to race on again, and the German was withdrawn from Sunday’s starting grid.
The major news in Q3 was the continued dominance of the Ferraris, or so it seemed. World champion Max Verstappen struggled to keep pace with Leclerc and Sainz, but Perez unexpectedly pulled off the fastest lap of the session to grab pole position at the death.
We’re set for another exciting showdown, with the pair of Ferraris bookended by the two Red Bulls, and we could see a repeat of the duel between Verstappen and Leclerc that started the season off in such style last weekend in Bahrain.
Another strong qualifying performance from Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo won’t go unnoticed, as the Finn starts the race in eighth place. There’s not much separating the likes of Esteban Ocon, Russell, Fernando Alonso, Bottas, and Pierre Gasly, and the midfield battle could be an exciting watch.
With Hamilton starting in 15th, there’s a natural comparison to draw with last year’s Brazil Grand Prix, where he stormed through the field to finish fifth in the sprint race after starting from the back. He was given a five-place grid penalty for exceeding his engine quota but drove a near-perfect race to win the main event.
Many will be looking to see if he can reproduce that performance but, with the Mercedes so down on power at the start of the season, it remains to be seen what Hamilton will be able to do.
The Sporting News is delivering live coverage from Jeddah.
Saudi Arabia Grand Prix live updates
All Times Eastern
What time does the F1 race start today?
- Date: Sunday, March 27
- Start time: 1pm ET (8pm local time)
How to watch Formula 1 in the United States
- TV channels: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ABC
- Live stream: FuboTV
For US-based viewers, every race in the 2022 Formula 1 season will be available on ESPN’s family of networks. Check the schedule below for details.
For those who choose to live stream, FuboTV carries ESPN, and also offers a free trial.
How to watch Formula 1 in Canada
- TV channel: TSN (English); RDS (French)
- Live stream: TSN Direct
For fans in Canada, TSN will carry the English telecast of races. For those looking for the French broadcast, RDS will have you covered.
Races can also be streamed via TSN’s streaming service, TSN Direct.
How to watch Formula 1 in the United Kingdom
- TV channel: Sky Sports F1
- Live stream: NOW TV
Viewers located in the United Kingdom can catch all F1 action on Sky Sports F1, the dedicated F1 channel. For viewers planning to live stream F1 in 2022, you can purchase a Sky Sports Pass on NOW TV.
How to watch Formula 1 in Australia
- TV channel: Fox Sports; Channel 10
- Live stream: Kayo
Fox Sports will carry all races in Australia, with Channel 10 broadcasting the Saudi Arabia GP on Channel 10.
Saudi Arabia Grand Prix qualifying results
|1.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull|
|4.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|8.||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo|
|13.||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo|
|14.||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin|
|17.||Nico Hulkenberg||Aston Martin|