Max Verstappen Wins in Jeddah.


Just a few days on from Bahrain and the F1 circus makes a short move to Saudi Arabia and the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Friday FP1 would see the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc set the fastest time with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen second quickest. A very impressive Valtteri Bottas took the third spot with the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz coming in fourth. Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda managed to bring their AlphaTauri cars in fifth and sixth with the Red Bull of Sergio Perez taking seventh spot. The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton could only manage ninth before retiring from the session after an incident with the wall just before turn one.

#16 Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Formula One, © Matt Hancock Pro-Pix,

FP2 and Charles Leclerc continues to set the fastest times before hitting the inside wall of turn 4. Max Verstappen found himself taking second spot again. Carlos Sainz improved on his first session by taking third spot with Sergio Perez showing improvement also with a fourth spot finish. The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russel also showed some improvement with a P5 and P6 respectively.

Charles Leclerc –

“It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise good day. In FP2 it was a small mistake, but not one that makes me lose confidence. I expected the front to slide around more and I clipped the inside wall at Turn 4.

“Focusing on tomorrow, I think the pace is there. It’s a bit of a shame we couldn’t get the high fuel laps done, but we should be in the mix for tomorrow.”

FP3 would see the Ferrari’s and Red Bulls continuing to dominate the top 4 spots. Charles Leclerc made it a clean sweep by laying down the fastest time yet again with Max Verstappen taking second spot along with his team mate Sergio Perez in third. Carlos took the fourth spot with Valtteri Bottas taking another fifth place after what was yet another great session for the Alfa Romeo driver.

#77 Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42, Formula One,  © Matt Hancock Pro-Pix,

Later on, Friday the FIA and Formula One management made the following statement with regards to the terrorist incident that had happened earlier.

Formula 1 and the FIA can confirm that following discussions with all the teams and drivers, the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will continue as scheduled.

Following the widely reported incident that took place in Jeddah on Friday, there has been extensive discussion between all stakeholders, the Saudi government authorities and security agencies who have given full and detailed assurances that the event is secure.

It has been agreed with all stakeholders to maintain a clear and open dialogue throughout the event and for the future.


Sergio Perez claimed his first career pole in a dramatic qualifying session in Saudi Arabia. He managed to take the top spot from Charles Leclerc in the last few seconds of the session. The session had been hit with several incidents of which one of these involved the Haas driver Mick Schumacher in what was a massive high-speed crash. Q2 was paused for about an hour whilst the track was cleared. Thankfully Mick Schumacher left hospital later with no injuries.

The other shock was the untimely exit of Lewis Hamilton as he could not seem to make it past Q1 and found himself in 16th place.

George Russell would claim sixth, behind Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull had to settle for fourth.


Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won an epic battle over Charles Leclerc in Saudi Arabia with Carlos Sainz completing the podium behind his Ferrari team mate – as pole-sitter Sergio Perez had to settle for fourth after pitting just before a pivotal Safety Car.

Perez led until Lap 16, when a flash of Ferrari mechanics perhaps triggered Red Bull into an early pit stop. That proved to be unfortunate; Williams’ Nicholas Latifi crashed at the final corner on the next lap and triggered a VSC then Safety Car, with Leclerc, Verstappen and Sainz capitalising.

The Mexican was set to restart third on Lap 21 when the Safety Car retreated but was found to have passed Sainz as the Spaniard exited the pits alongside the Red Bull during the caution period, leaving the pole-sitter fourth.

#1 Max Verstappen, Red Bull RB18, Formula One, © Matt Hancock Pro-Pix,

Another VSC emerged on Lap 38 when McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo crawled to a halt at the pit exit, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso slowing with a problem a lap earlier – and then stopping around the same place as Ricciardo. When the VSC finished on Lap 41, Verstappen was within a second of leader Leclerc – and now came round two of their brilliant 2022 rivalry.

With DRS, the Dutchman took the lead on the back straight on Lap 42, but Leclerc came back with DRS and held onto the lead. Again, on Lap 43, Verstappen attempted a move but locked up in unison with the Ferrari into the final corner, the Ferrari keeping P1.

A brief lull followed and at the start of Lap 47, before Verstappen made sure he had DRS and prised the lead off Leclerc, the championship leader unable to close him off this time.

Leclerc put in the fastest lap with a second wind in the closing staged – but Verstappen narrowly kept him at bay, shrugging off the scare of a late Sector 1 yellow flag (for a Lance Stroll-Alex Albon coming-together) to win by just 0.549s.

Race day review by F1 full report here

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By Matt Hancock

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