F1 championship leader Max Verstappen has been knocked out of qualifying after his Red Bull suffered engine issues in Q2.
Verstappen had been looking to continue his dominant start to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend by taking pole position but his hopes were dashed when he lost drive on his first flying lap of Q2.
The double world champion reported over team radio that he had an “engine problem” before being instructed to return to the pits in ‘limp home mode’.
“It’s almost not accelerating,” he added.
VER : “I have a problem… engine, engine problem”#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/R8OQwhjdjE
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 18, 2023
Red Bull did not have time to fix the problem in the garage with only five minutes left of the second session of qualifying, resulting in a shock elimination for Verstappen.
The Dutchman had complained of slow shifting in his RB19 in Friday practice, prompting Red Bull to change the gearbox on his car overnight.
Verstappen is set to start Sunday’s race from 15th on the grid and will have his work cut out if he is to make it back-to-back wins in 2023.
Keyword: F1 championship leader Max Verstappen suffers shock Q2 exit after engine drama