Formula 1: Verstappen on top in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA – MARCH 07: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 07, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202403070361 // Usage for editorial use only //

The on track action was back Thursday afternoon in Saudi Arabia as Max Verstappen picked up where he left off last week, topping the first Free Practice session ahead of Fernando Alonso and Red Bull Teammate Sergio Perez. The ultrafast Jeddah Circuit, a quick favorite amongst fans and drivers, saw the entire field within 1.982 seconds of one another as the top 5 were separated by no more than 0.371 seconds.

HIGHLIGHTS: Catch the action from FP1 in Saudi Arabia as Verstappen sets the pace

George Russell led the Mercedes duo with his soft tire run that held the top spot until Verstappen’s run, finishing 4th while teammate Lewis Hamilton ended the session 8th fastest. Ferrari’s pairing ended 5th and 6th on the sheets, with Charles LeClerc ahead of Carlos Sainz by 0.134 seconds. Lando Norris ended his day in 7th, well ahead of McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri (15th), while Lance Stroll and Alexander Albon rounded out the top 10.

Further down the time sheets, Haas ended their session in 19th and 20th – echoing the start of the year in Bahrain – and Alpine, fresh off the loss of several key leadership officials, ended in 13th and 17th positions.

Prepare for more on track action this evening as teams take to the track under the lights for FP2 at 20:00 local time. Full weekend schedule and FP1 results are below.


DateSessionTime (Local Circuit)
Mar. 7thPractice 116:30 – 17:30
Practice 220:00 – 21:00
Mar. 8thPractice 316:30 – 17:30
Qualifying20:00 – 21:00
Mar. 9thRace20:00

Free Practice 1 Results:

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:29.65924
214Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:29.8450.186s24
311Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:29.8680.209s23
463George RussellMERCEDES1:29.9390.280s23
516Charles LeclercFERRARI1:30.0300.371s24
655Carlos SainzFERRARI1:30.1640.505s24
74Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:30.2310.572s26
844Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:30.2360.577s21
918Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:30.5800.921s18
1023Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:30.7471.088s26
1177Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:30.7831.124s26
123Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:30.9171.258s25
1331Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:30.9451.286s27
142Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:30.9661.307s27
1581Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:30.9771.318s22
1622Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:31.0361.377s25
1710Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:31.0461.387s25
1824Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:31.1311.472s24
1927Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:31.4111.752s19
2020Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:31.5771.918s18