F1 qualifying results, grid order from Saudi Arabia as Max Verstappen takes pole position, Oliver Bearman P11

If the question before Saturday’s qualifying session in Jeddah was ‘Can anyone stop Max Verstappen?’, the answer that came was emphatic — and predictable.

With Red Bull embroiled in a storm around team principal Christian Horner, Verstappen would have been forgiven for allowing off-track issues to affect concentration at the opening race of 2024 in Bahrain. If it did, there was little sign of it, the reigning champion storming to a dominant victory from the front of the grid, with teammate Sergio Perez second.

At the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Verstappen was once again clinical as he took pole position for Saturday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. On the day of the heavyweight contest between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou in the same country, this was very much a case of throwing power punches at the right time by Red Bull’s unstoppable world champion: each hot lap was delivered with unerring precision around the tight corners of this winding track and its neon surroundings, and each time, he seemed to time his runs perfectly to sour any optimism within the chasing pack.

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F1 qualifying results, grid order for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

The below table shows the provisional classification after Saturday’s qualifying session.

Position Driver Team Qual. time
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:27:472
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27:791
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:27:807
4 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:27:846
5 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:28:089
6 Lando Norris McLaren 1:28:132
7 George Russell Mercedes 1:28:316
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28:460
9 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:28:547
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:28:572
11 Oliver Bearman* Ferrari 1:28:642
12 Alex Albon* Williams 1:28:980
13 Kevin Magnussen* Haas 1:29:020
14 Daniel Ricciardo* RB 1:29:025
15 Nico Hulkenberg* Haas 1:29:055
16 Valtteri Bottas** Kick Sauber 1:29:179
17 Esteban Ocon** Alpine 1:29:475
18 Pierre Gasly** Alpine 1:29:479
19 Logan Sargeant** Williams 1:29:526
20 Zhou Guanyu** Kick Sauber No time

* Eliminated after Q2
** Eliminated after Q1

Verstappen took P1 by more than three tenths of a second from Charles Leclerc, who delivered a brilliant final flying lap in Q3 to get on the front row ahead of Red Bull’s Perez. Fernando Alonso, fastest in second practice and just 0.044s behind Verstappen during Q2, delivered another sterling performance in the Aston Martin but had to settle for fourth on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton, who complained of grip problems during the evening, was again out-qualified by teammate George Russell, the Mercedes down in P7 and P8. McLaren will lock out the row in front.

But perhaps the finest performance of the day came from Oliver Bearman, the 18-year-old fast-tracked to the pinnacle of the sport after the news that Carlos Sainz would be unable to take part after being diagnosed with appendicitis. The British driver, just 18 years old, had qualified on pole for the F2 race he was expecting to be involved in until he got the call from Ferrari on Friday morning. Bearman recovered from some early jitters to post a highly creditable 11th place on the grid.

F1 Saudi Arabia qualifying live updates

End of Q3: Max Verstappen takes pole position

Leclerc takes second! A brilliant last flying lap sees him pip Perez to the front row. Alonso will start fourth, having lost some time in his final sector, but that’s still an excellent drive from the veteran.

Oliver Bearman has been cleared by stewards over a possible infringement, so he’ll start in P11.

Q3, 1 min to go: Mercedes can’t find their pace, but Alonso cleverly moves out of Hamilton’s away and uses his slipstream like a slingshot. Hamilton will start eighth at best — what can the Spaniard do?

Q3, 2 mins to go: Everyone’s back out for a final flying lap. It’s new tyres all round.

Q3, 5 mins to go: Leclerc tells his team that the Ferrari “feels very weird on new tyres”. He’s back in the pits, along with everyone else.

Q3, 7 mins to go: Perez goes quickest, Alonso can’t quite follow suit… but Verstappen then goes 0.335s faster! Charles Leclerc has to correct on the apex of a hairpin and can only go fourth fastest.

Q3, 9 mins to go: The Mercedes are out first. Hamilton fights with all his might to keep the car from running wide, and clocks a 1:28:800, which is immediately bettered by teammate Russell. The two McLarens then go ahead of Hamilton!

Start of Q3

Can Alonso keep up with Verstappen?

End of Q2

Bearman JUST misses out on Q3! His final flying lap sees him just 0.036s slower than seven-time world champion Hamilton. A brilliant debut drive from the teenager! Hamilton tells his team he’s having real problems with grip.

Eliminated after Q2:
Oliver Bearman
Alex Albon
Kevin Magnussen
Daniel Ricciardo
Nico Hulkenberg

Q2, 3 mins to go: Hamilton is at risk of dropping into the bottom five and needs another lap. Bearman is also going to need to improve after just losing his back end on a tight right-hander after clipping the wall on the approach.

Q2, 7 mins to go: Perez goes quickest after an excellent final sector, but Verstappen goes nearly half a second quicker! Alonso then goes just four hundredths of a second slower than the world champion.

Q2, 10 mins to go: We’re back underway. The Red Bulls and Ferraris are among those on track.

Q2, 11 mins to go: RED FLAG! It took a while, but the session has been halted: Hulkenberg is stranded off the main circuit but in too dangerous a position for qualifying to continue. He was on a flying lap but ended up parking the car after losing power.

Q2, 13 mins to go: Nico Hulkenberg radios in to say he’s had a loss of power! Thankfully he’s pulled over into a safe area, but that’s a real blow to Haas.

Start of Q2

Bearman is under investigation from the stewards for not following instructions. We’ll see what comes of that.

End of Q1

Zhou couldn’t start his flying lap in time and he will start from the back of the grid. Bearman is THROUGH to Q2.

Stroll puts in a great final flying lap for the second-fastest time behind Verstappen. Esteban Ocon mutters “I’m sorry, guys” over the radio after another desperate session for Alpine. It’s the same bottom five that were eliminated in Q1 in Bahrain, just in a slightly different order.

Eliminated after Q1:
Valtteri Bottas
Esteban Ocon
Pierre Gasly
Logan Sargeant
Zhou Guanyu

Q1, 2 mins to go: Zhou is on track! Can he get a lap time in and reach Q2? It would be some achievement. Charles Leclerc is now fastest, 0.173 seconds faster than Verstappen.

Q1, 5 mins to go: Zhou Guanyu has not yet appeared for a lap in this session. His mechanics are frantically trying to get the car ready for a run. Lewis Hamilton’s time puts him ninth, which should — but may not — be enough to keep him out of the elimination zone.

Q1, 8 mins to go: Max Verstappen’s first fast lap… puts him first, and comfortably. Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull is fifth-fastest in this session.

Q1, 10 mins to go: Oscar Piastri sets the first time under 1:28:800, despite clipping the wall on his approach to the home straight! He’ll hope there was no damage sustained there. Bearman clocks the fourth-fastest time, which will likely be enough to get him through to Q2. George Russell, meanwhile, gets black-and-white flagged for not following the guidelines properly when it comes to entering the pit lane here.

Q1, 12 mins to go: Oliver Bearman’s first lap time is around 1:30:000. Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll are setting the early pace in the Aston Martins.

Q1, 14 mins to go: Lando Norris is the first man to try a hot lap. My word, the cockpit camera really shows how narrow this track is! You can hear Norris’ McLaren scraping the surface at different points as he throws it around this street circuit. Norris clocks around 1:29:200.

Start of Q1

Here we go!

2 mins to qualifying start: Okay, we’ve got cars appearing on track and music blasting out of the circuit PA system. That can only mean the start is imminent!

20 mins to qualifying start: We’re close to lights out for the start of Q1. Can the likes of Alonso put pressure on Verstappen from the off? The reigning champion was fastest in FP3 by around two tenths of a second.

45 mins to qualifying start: We’ve got a little less than 45 minutes still the start of Q1. The circuit is looking great under the lights in Jeddah — at least, it does now they’ve cleaned up the mess around Zhou’s accident. The Kick Sauber driver walked away from this, thankfully.

1 hour 15 mins to qualifying start: Something Ollie Bearman won’t soon forget… he was expecting to be driving in today’s F2 race before getting the call-up from Ferrari.

1 hour 45 mins to qualifying start: Well done, Oliver Bearman! The teenager set the 10th-best time of FP3 earlier today, around eight tenths of a second lower than Verstappen. That’s some performance in your F1 debut! The session was curtailed due to a significant crash involving Zhou Guanyu, who was thankfully unhurt after losing his backend and careering into the wall at Turn Five.

2 hours to qualifying start: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying session. Can anyone stop Max Verstappen this time? Fernando Alonso was quickest in Thursday’s second practice session and will hope to try.

F1 2024 schedule: What time is Saudi Arabian qualifying?

  UK USA Canada Australia India
Date Friday, Mar 8 Friday, Mar 8 Friday, Mar 8 Saturday, Mar 9 Friday, Mar 8
Time 5 p.m. GMT 12 p.m. ET 12 p.m. ET 4 a.m. AEDT 10:30 p.m. IST

F1 2024 schedule: What time is the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix race?

  UK USA Canada Australia India
Date Saturday, Mar 9 Saturday, Mar 9 Saturday, Mar 9 Sunday, Mar 10 Saturday, Mar 9
Time 5 p.m. GMT 12 p.m. ET 12 p.m. ET 4 a.m. AEDT 10:30 p.m. IST

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How to watch the 2024 F1 season in the USA

  • TV channel: ABC / ESPN
  • Live stream: Fubo / ESPN+ / Hulu / Sling TV / YouTube TV

ESPN’s wide-reaching sporting network is showing every F1 race for US audiences in 2024, utilising Sky Sports’ live broadcasts, and also showing some free-to-air circuits on ABC.

US-based F1 fans can also stream each race live using Fubo, which is offering a FREE trial right now, or use ESPN+ among other streaming options. Meanwhile, ESPN Deportes is the exclusive Spanish-language home for all F1 races in the United States.

STREAM: F1 races on ESPN+ in the US

How to watch the 2024 F1 season in Canada

  • TV channel: TSN (English); RDS / Noovo (French)
  • Live stream: TSN Direct 

For F1 fans in Canada, TSN are providing the English-language broadcast of each race, while RDS and Noovo are doing the same for French-speaking viewers.

Races can also be streamed through TSN’s own streaming service, TSN Direct.

How to watch the 2024 F1 season in the UK

  • TV channel: Sky Sports F1
  • Live stream: NOW TV / Sky Go app

As ever, Sky Sports’ dedicated Formula One channel, Sky Sports F1, are showing all the action from every single session in 2024.

For fans planning to live stream their fill of F1 this season, you can also watch by using the Sky Go app if you’re an existing subscriber, or by purchasing a Sky Sports Pass on NOW TV.

How to watch the 2024 F1 season in Australia

  • TV channel: Fox Sports / Channel 10
  • Live stream: Kayo Sports / Foxtel Go

Fox Sports are covering every race for Australian-based audiences in 2024, while free-to-air station Channel 10 will only be showing the Australian Grand Prix.

How to watch the 2024 F1 season in India

F1 fans in India can watch each circuit on subscription service F1 TV Pro, which also offers full race highlights and replays.

The coverage will include the live broadcast of the practice and qualifying sessions, of top of the races themselves.

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