"Lewis Hamilton's juju is real": Max Verstappen suffering an engine issue sends F1 fans into a frenzy

F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia - Qualifying
15th placed qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing climbs from his car in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 18, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen had to retire from the qualifying session of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after facing an engine issue during Q2.

Unlike what Red Bull were expecting, the weekend at Jeddah quickly fell apart as Verstappen had to turn down his hotlap during qualifying. Although it seemed as if the team was trying to fix the issue in a hurry (only six minutes remained in Q2 after the car was brought into the garage), Verstappen was soon seen getting out of his car, confirming his retirement from the session.

Lewis Hamilton's juju is real, Verstappen out in Q2!!!

Verstappen displayed incredible pace throughout the weekend as he topped all three free practice sessions and like much of the F1 world, fans were expecting the Dutchman to comfortably secure pole position and a race win. However, things didn't quite work out for the two-time reigning world champion.

Here are some of the best fan reactions from Twitter.

"Max coming from behind the grid tomorrow," one user wrote.
@F1 Max coming from behind the grid tomorrow
@F1 P15 to p1 incomming
max did this so he could race charles tomorrow, he was missing his emotional support rival (it's true, he told me)
max verstappen and charles leclerc starting at the back of the grid tomorrow
Max saw that Charles has a grid penalty so he decided to start also further from the back#SaudiArabianGP
"Max out of qualifying when Charles has a 10-place penalty," another wrote.
Max out of qualifying when Charles has a 10-place penalty
engine problem for max verstappen ??? the world is healing
F1 fans as soon as they see Max going slowly

Max Verstappen to probably face a tough start to the race in Jeddah

Red Bull looked extremely strong throughout the weekend in Jeddah and while Max Verstappen was out on yet another hotlap, there seemed to be a major issue with either his engine or his gearbox.

After the Dutchman shifted up to the seventh gear, there was a sudden jump in his engine revs and he had to pull his car back to the garage.

Verstappen will now have to start the race in P15. Ahead of him will be Valtteri Bottas in his Alfa Romeo, and Yuki Tsunoda will start beside him on P16 in the AlphaTauri.

Although the start of the race might be tough for Max Verstappen, there is a good chance that he might be able to gain places during the race. The circuit is fast-paced and the Dutchman can go full throttle for the most part, which will give him and his RB19 an opportunity to out-power other cars on the straights.

Meanwhile, Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez clinched pole position, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in second. Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso will start the race in Jeddah third on the grid.

However, Leclerc, who qualified in P2, has a 10-place grid penalty, meaning he will start the race closer to Verstappen in P12.

It would be interesting to see how things turn out for both drivers.

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Edited by Shubham Banerjee
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