Oscar Piastri will start Monday morning’s Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in the top 10 after a sensational qualifying performance.
- Oscar Piastri was ninth fastest in qualifying, but will start eighth
- Red Bull driver Sergio Perez will start on pole
- Max Verstappen suffered a driveshaft issue in qualifying and will start 15th
In just his second career F1 start, the Australian will begin eighth in his McLaren, hoping to secure his first championship points.
Piastri qualified ninth fastest around the streets of Jeddah but was promoted to eighth after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took a grid penalty for the electronics package to his car.
“P8 on the grid. It was nice to get into Q3,” Piastri said after starting near the back of the field in his debut.
“I’m super happy to be in the top 10, and it was a good experience to do all three [qualifying] sessions.
“Now we’ll work hard to make the most of this position and bring home a positive result in the race.”
Piastri’s first race lasted just 15 laps before he retired due to car failure.
It was a tough start to the season for the McLaren team, with Lando Norris also having car troubles that forced him to pit six times.
The Briton made a mistake in the first qualifying session in Saudi Arabia and was knocked out early.
Norris will start the race 19th on the grid.
“I made a silly mistake; it’s disappointing because it cost me a chance to go into Q3,” he said.
“The car was good, and I was feeling comfortable out there.
“On the bright side, it’s a long race tomorrow with plenty of opportunities, so I look forward to that. Hopefully, I can make up for the mistake, and we can try to fight our way forwards.”
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will start on pole for the second consecutive year in Jeddah alongside the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso.
Defending champion Max Verstappen will start 15th after suffering an issue with his driveshaft during qualifying.