The action at this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix began way before qualifying, with the drivers having to make a decision to race or not amid a missile attack on a nearby Aramco facility. In the end, they decided that the show must go on, with Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez snatching pole position away from the Ferraris. Even more shocking was Lewis Hamilton's 16th position. The session also sent Mick Schumacher to hospital following a big shunt in Q2.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton had his worst qualifying performance since 2009, while his teammate George Russell managed to wrestle his Mercedes up to 6th. Even that is dismal for the reigning Constructors' Champions, who had been dominating the pace for the past eight seasons. Even more mind-boggling is how the Silver Arrows don't seen to know the definite reason behind Hamilton's lack of pace.

After Hamilton was knocked out of Q1, even more rattling incidents took place. In Q2, Mick Schumacher slammed his Haas into a barrier after losing control in high-speed. There were many tense minutes across the paddock as a red flag was called while the driver was still in his vehicle. Thankfully, it was soon announced that Mick was conscious and did not appear to have any external injuries. Nevertheless, he had to be taken by an ambulance before being airlifted to a nearby hospital for further tests.

The session resumed after all the debris was cleared off the track, and Q3 ended with another shocker. The Ferrari cars of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had been strong since last week, and they were expected to dominate in Saudi. However, Perez managed to pull together a storming lap that knocked Bahrain race winner Leclerc off pole.

Sainz managed to hold on to third, just in front of reigning world champion Max Verstappen in the other Red Bull. Perez was clearly ecstatic as he got out of his car, and even both Ferrari drivers were seen congratulating him on the first pole position of his already quite lengthy F1 career.

It will be an exciting race, but it is slowly becoming clear that Mercedes need to make up a lot of ground as soon as possible if they want to challenge for the title.

Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher's Haas hit the wall to cause the first red flag at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix AFP / Giuseppe CACACE