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

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as title rival Max Verstappen crashed trying to beat the Mercedes driver's time.

Verstappen hit the wall on the exit of the final corner when he looked set to overtake Hamilton in the race.

Verstappen was on his way to a fast lap but was late on the brakes for Turn 27 and slid wide on the exit, breaking his rear suspension.

Valtteri Bottas also beat Verstappen's earlier time to join Hamilton on the front row.

There will be questions as to whether Verstappen damaged his car. He will take a five-place grid penalty if it needs to be replaced.

The Dutchman leads Hamilton by eight points with two races to go.

It is more important for Hamilton to win in Saudi Arabia than it is for Verstappen.

If Verstappen beats Hamilton, the Mercedes driver would need the Dutch driver to have trouble in the final race in Abu Dhabi to overtake him. Verstappen can afford to finish second behind Hamilton in Jeddah and still be level on points.

Verstappen stops his car and walks away.

There was nothing between the title rivals.

Verstappen had set the pace on the first runs, nearly a second quicker than Hamilton.

Hamilton made a mistake at the first corner on his first run and then slid at Turn Six on his second run before setting a time.

He beat Verstappen on his second run by 0.142 seconds.

Verstappen looked on for a great time on his final lap.

He was on the edge of Turn One, brushing the wall on the exit, and was more than a second ahead of Hamilton after the first two sectors.

He could have been more cautious at the final corner. He went in too deep, side wide on the exit, and smashed into the wall because he braked too late.

It was his first major mistake of the season and it remains to be seen how much it will cost.

Verstappen said it was terrible. It was a good experience. I locked up, clipped the wall and had to stop because I didn't understand what happened.

"P3 is disappointing but the car is quick and we can do something in the race."

"We were so quick on Friday, but for some reason in final practice and qualifying, we just lacked pace and struggled with the tyres, so to get a one-two is a great result."

Those guys were fast. The Bulls were amazing around this track.

Even worse for Red Bull, Charles Leclerc was able to get his car on to the second row and knocked Verstappen's team-mate out of the race.

Pierre Gasly took sixth, split from his team-mates by Lando Norris.

The top 10 consisted of Alpine's Esteban Ocon and Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi.

Carlos Sainz's second car will start 15th after a difficult session.

Sainz spun at high speed at Turn Nine on his first lap. He slid sideways and the car's rear-wing endplate clipped the barriers as he avoided a big crash.

Sainz did not know that he had snapped at the same corner and taken him into the run-off area when he went out to try again.

The first F1 race in Saudi Arabia will be held on June 26.

The Red Sea has a port city on it.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix can be heard on radio and on the website.