Lewis Hamilton takes Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pole as Max Verstappen crashes

Verstappen was ringing the Red Bull’s neck on what looked a superlative lap but was late on the brakes for Turn 27 and slid wide on the exit and broke his rear suspension. If Verstappen beats Hamilton, the Mercedes driver would need the Dutchman to hit trouble in the final race in Abu Dhabi to overhaul him. Verstappen had set the pace on the first runs in final qualifying, nearly 0.4secs quicker than Hamilton. Hamilton had a scrappy first run, a mistake at the first corner on one lap and then a slide at Turn Six on another before finally setting a time. But he managed to sneak ahead of Verstappen’s first time on his second run, beating the Dutchman by 0.142 seconds. Verstappen then looked on for a stunning time on his final lap. He was right on the edge through Turn One, lightly brushing the wall on the exit, and was more than 0.2secs up on Hamilton’s time after the first two sectors of the lap.

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