Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in Saudi Arabian GP FP1

Max Verstappen dominated FP1 for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as he led a Red Bull 1-2 from teammate Sergio Perez


Max Verstappen was fastest in the opening practice session for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from teammate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen, who arrived late in Jeddah due to a stomach bug, showed no signs of slowing down as set a 1:29.790 with 25 minutes remaining on the C4 soft tyres.

Then, the Dutchman went even quicker at the end of the session with a 1:29.617 on a set of soft tyres that had done multiple laps.

Perez was 0.83 seconds off the pace, with Fernando Alonso a further 0.215 seconds behind in a session that was ran in the daylight, whereas qualifying and the race will be at night.

Lance Stroll left it late to move up to fourth, but was 0.960 down on championship leader Verstappen.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were both over one second slower than Verstappen in fifth and sixth for Mercedes.

Similarly to practice at the Bahrain GP, Ferrari didn’t show their full hand as Carlos Sainz was seventh and Charles Leclerc was 11th.

Alpine‘s Pierre Gasly, WilliamsAlex Albon and AlphaTauri‘s Yuki Tsunoda were in between the Ferrari pair in what appears to be another close midfield battle.

Yuki Tsunoda prepares to drive his AlphaTauri | Peter Fox/Getty Images /Red Bull Content Pool

New parts for Leclerc, Sainz, Norris and Perez

Official confirmation of Leclerc‘s 10-place grid penalty came when the FIA announced his car was fitted with a third control electronics, which takes him over the limit of two.

Leclerc and Sainz have new internal combustion engines in their car as a precaution, whilst Lando Norris has a complete new power unit as the internal combustion engine, MGU-H, MGU-K and turbocharger have been changed.

Perez has a new energy store, control electronics and gearbox in his Red Bull and, like Sainz and Norris, will not incur a penalty.

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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