Max Verstappen to start 15th in Saudi Arabia GP after Red Bull breaks down with Hamilton only seventh and Perez on pole

MAX VERSTAPPEN will have to start the Saudi Arabia GP at 15th after mechanical problems forced him out of qualifying.

The world champion began to have engine problems in Q2 and was forced off the Jeddah Circuit early as a result.

Max Verstappen’s issues began coming out of turn 10

He was strong favourite to start the race in pole position, but his early end to qualifying saw his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez secure the spot.

Verstappen was going strong after Q1, but was limping around the track back to the pits after he reported his issues over the radio.

The 25-year-old hasn’t given up on the race despite his position on the grid and made that clear when speaking to Sky Sports after qualifying.

He said: “Now it’s a little bit more tricky to get to the front,

“But it’s all about scoring points, it’s a very long season. Of course, I would have hoped to start a bit further up the road but we cannot change that now.

“Anything is possible at this track. We’ve seen a lot of crazy things, but we also need to stay a little bit realistic. I mean, it’s going to be tough. But we have good pace so, for sure, we’ll move forward.”

Red Bull have confirmed since the issue was not with the Dutchman’s engine, but rather with the car’s driveshaft.

Lewis Hamilton will start in seventh tomorrow after today’s qualification with his Mercedes teammate George Russell starting on the second row.

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Charles Leclerc was second fastest in qualifying, but will have to start tomorrow’s race in 12th spot after a 10-place grid penalty is applied.

It means Fernando Alonso will line up on the front-row alongside Perez in his Aston Martin.

With Russel third, Carlos Sainz is fourth for Ferrari.

Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon, Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg complete the top 10.

The race takes place tomorrow in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at 5pm UK time.