Max Verstappen faced an unfortunate setback during his first run in Q2 at Jeddah’s Corniche street circuit. The Red Bull driver suddenly slowed down in the second sector due to a driveshaft problem. Since Verstappen hadn’t set a time yet, he finished Q2 in 15th place. It was frustrating for Verstappen as he had been having a smooth weekend until then. “It was the first time I heard about that [issue],” he said. However, Verstappen remained positive, saying it’s all about scoring points, and he believed that his team could still move forward.
Verstappen‘s mechanical failure turned his teammate, Sergio Perez, into the frontrunner for pole position, and the Mexican driver certainly delivered in Q3. Perez edged out Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc by less than two tenths, while Fernando Alonso secured the third place on the grid in the Aston Martin.
When asked if he still felt like he could challenge for the win despite starting from 15th place, Verstappen replied that it was possible but tough. He preferred to remain realistic and acknowledged that anything could happen at the track, as it had seen a lot of crazy incidents in the past. Nevertheless, he had good pace and was confident that his team could make progress.