2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix grid

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez has taken pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for Red Bull ahead of Fernando Alonso and George Russell.

Row 1 1. (11) Sergio Perez 1’28.265
Red Bull RB19
2. (14) Fernando Alonso 1’28.730
Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR23
Row 2 3. (63) George Russell 1’28.857
Mercedes W14
4. (55) Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’28.931
Ferrari SF-23
Row 3 5. (18) Lance Stroll 1’28.945
Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR23
6. (31) Esteban Ocon 1’29.078
Alpine-Renault A523
Row 4 7. (44) Lewis Hamilton 1’29.223
Mercedes W14
8. (81) Oscar Piastri 1’29.243
McLaren-Mercedes MCL60
Row 5 9. (10) Pierre Gasly 1’29.357
Alpine-Renault A523
10. (27) Nico Hulkenberg 1’29.451
Haas-Ferrari VF-23
Row 6 11. (24) Zhou Guanyu 1’29.461
Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C43
12. (16) Charles Leclerc 1’28.420
Ferrari SF-23
Row 7 13. (20) Kevin Magnussen 1’29.634
Haas-Ferrari VF-23
14. (77) Valtteri Bottas 1’29.668
Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C43
Row 8 15. (1) Max Verstappen 1’49.953
Red Bull RB19
16. (22) Yuki Tsunoda 1’29.939
AlphaTauri-Red Bull AT04
Row 9 17. (23) Alexander Albon 1’29.994
Williams-Mercedes FW45
18. (21) Nyck de Vries 1’30.244
AlphaTauri-Red Bull AT04
Row 10 19. (4) Lando Norris 1’30.447
McLaren-Mercedes MCL60
20. (2) Logan Sargeant 2’08.510
Williams-Mercedes FW45


Charles Leclerc: 10-place penalty for exceeding maximum allocation of power unit components

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix grid”

  1. The Stewards took away Sargeant’s lap time literally for nothing.
    A clear-cut RBR 1-2 became a mere pole, but I don’t rule out a 1-2 tomorrow.
    I wonder what happened to Checo on his last flying lap attempt.

    1. @jerejj He aborted it. No clear reason stated, maybe he though he wouldn’t be beat by anyone bar Leclerc. Astons were bleeding a lot of time in the last sector for some reason.

      1. RandomMallard
        18th March 2023, 18:15

        @wsrgo I heard some talk yesterday that Aston’s straight line speed wasn’t great, so that may explain why they lacked a bit in sector 3. And Stroll had a big moment on the kerbs at T22 (I think?) on his final run so that also cost him a fair amount of time in S3 I reckon.

  2. My prediction is Verstappen-Perez-Leclerc. Verstappen will win even starting from pit lane and with half lap gap to the 19th driver. 1 second in qualifying to the third guy is a lot.

    Alonso might be 4th or 5th considering that Russell is so close. Still not bad for Aston Martin.

    PS: Piastri impressed. Almost beating Hamilton is fantastic for the McLaren and rookie driver combo.

    1. Alonso will be fighting for the win, the mercs will be waving at Verstappen as he passes them at half distance, their fight is with Sainz. Mercedes need damage limitation until they get a car to challenge Aston Martin in the first instance. Finishing below a customer car will not be acceptable for the Mercedes board.

  3. Alonso again underwhelming on saturday. But he was never that kind of guy anyway. If Stroll was a tiny bit better he could have him beaten.

    1. Alonso is almost 70 years old, remember, way past his prime.

  4. Given that people are often eager to criticize Stroll; the guy is only two tenths behind Alonso. Compare with Sainz, who was half a second behind Leclerc, and even Hamilton was 4 tenths behind Russell. Not bad for the Canadian!

    1. Its worth noting Alonso is not the fastest qualifier but Stroll did perform very well.

    2. yeah he got a good lap in, but he seemed to struggle with sector 3 every time. kept losing loads of time there.

    3. Ferrari had all the data confirming how Sainz is slow, hard on his tyres and often crumbles under pressure yet somehow he got his contract extended by a hurry by Binotto till 2024. Ferrari should start immediately thinking about replacing him. If Piastri proves his worth this year against a good benchmark like Norris, then they should consider him for 2025. Norris’s contract expires at the end of 2026 and Russell is Wolff’s protégé. I don’t see a lot of available drivers tbh.

      1. @tifoso1989 I can see the logic of signing Piastri if he proves his worth this season but do you think Piastri + Leclerc is a viable combination for Ferrari? They always seem to prefer one lead driver and Leclerc is hardly senior and ready to retire yet, while Piastri doesn’t seem like a mobile assist.

        1. @david-br
          Ferrari needs to focus on two things: retaining Charles Leclerc as their n°1 driver and hiring a strong n°2 driver who can push Leclerc to perform even better. The driver hierarchy is critical as long as the n°1 driver can deliver, and Ferrari should ensure that Leclerc is firmly established as the team’s n°1 driver. This is something that other top drivers like Verstappen, Alonso, Hamilton, and Schumacher… have enjoyed.

          In the past, Ferrari had a clear number one driver policy with Alonso and Vettel, which was the right thing to do. Binotto’s decision to give Vettel the n°1 driver status in 2019 in hindsight for me is confusing, given the treatment he gave Leclerc when he was later partnered with Sainz.

          Ferrari’s long-standing tradition of team orders and n°1 driver policies has been part of the team’s DNA since its creation. However, there have been instances in the past where the team allowed their drivers to race freely, as was the case with Massa-Raikkonen from 2007-2009. During these seasons, both drivers were given equal opportunity to compete. Interestingly, Massa and Raikkonen did not engage in political gamesmanship, which may have played a role in the team’s decision to allow them to race freely

          As for Piastri as I said Ferrari should be prepared and start looking for Sainz’s replacement so they will not be caught off guard by the end of 2024. Piastri is an interesting prospect at the moment.

      2. I give you….Lewis Hamilton! LOL.

        Sainz hasn’t looked quick this season though. He’s not on the same level as Leclerc. Should be a no.2 driver. If Ferrari were to look elsewhere then Piastri and Norris are the obvious targets.

        1. @phil-f1-21

          I give you….Lewis Hamilton! LOL.

          That’s a move in the making by Toto Wolff. He wants to swap Hamilton with Leclerc. I just hope that Ferrari will not fall into that trap. All respect to Hamilton but he had a real chance to drive for Ferrari after winning his 7th title but he declined. By 2025, he’ll be 40 and above all he is currently the second highest paid driver. Norris has stupidly locked himself with Mclaren till the end of 2026.

      3. Sainz is the classic midfield driver. Can’t say he’s even Bottas or Perez level because these can put up a fight every once in a while whereas Sainz is 10 sec slower than Leclerc with nothing between them almost every race this situation happens.

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    18th March 2023, 19:00

    That’s a fun grid. Max and Charles making their way through with some interesting drivers at the front of the grid… looking forward to it.

  6. Crazy how far ahead Perez is. Ver will have the lead by half distance.

  7. Sure Max will be there after 15 laps

  8. Can already see Oscar will push and possible be beating Norris by end of the season

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