F1 Saudi Arabian GP 2024: Highlights and Reaction

Follow the action LIVE as F1 teams and drivers take to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP

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Welcome to our coverage of the 2024 Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, set against the electrifying backdrop of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. The stage is set for an enthralling race under the stars, where Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen aims to continue his dominant streak, securing pole position with a masterful lap. His performance left Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc trailing by 0.3 seconds, setting up a fierce battle for the top step on the podium.

The grid sees a new talent with Oliver Bearman, stepping in for Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, making an impressive debut by qualifying 11th. Despite the last-minute call-up, Bearman‘s performance adds an exciting layer to the race dynamics, showcasing the depth of talent across the teams. Sergio Perez, last year’s victor here, starts from the third spot, adding to the anticipation of a competitive showdown among the leading teams.

Fernando Alonso, leveraging a strategic tow from Lewis Hamilton, secured a commendable fourth place, indicating that strategy will play as crucial a role as speed in Saturday’s race. Meanwhile, McLaren‘s Oscar Piastri once again outperformed teammate Lando Norris, with both securing spots on the third row, hinting at intense midfield battles that could define the race’s outcome.

As we gear up for the lights to go out, the storylines are as compelling off the track as on it. Red Bull‘s internal challenges have not deterred their on-track performance, and the tight competition between Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes promises an unpredictable race. Join us for minute-by-minute updates, expert analysis, and behind-the-scenes insights from the heart of the action at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Saudi Arabian GP 2024: Highlights and Reaction


We know Max Verstappen won, but how did he do it? Here is your race report…

Here are the results from the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix!

Verstappen reacts to second ever Saudi win

“Overall, a fantastic weekend for the whole team and myself,” Verstappen said to F1 media after the race. “I felt really good with the car and it was the same in the race.

“The last stint was a bit longer than we would have liked but with the Safety Car you had to go for it.

“So, the last few laps with cold tyres and backmarkers it was a bit slippery but we had good pace all-around and could manage it, so overall very pleased.”

Perez is firmly motivated for Australia after finishing P2!

“It was tricky at times, especially in the beginning,” Perez said to F1 media after the race. “We had no warm-up at all, we were sliding a lot and it took us a long time to get through Lewis and Lando.

“But overall it’s a great day for the team. It’s a very different track to Bahrain and we’re keeping strong, so we just have to keep this momentum going.

“I think we’ve taken a step forward from Bahrain, we’ve done good improvements from yesterday, so we still have some bits to tidy up and our time will come.”

Leclerc brings home the goods again

“We had quite good pace because we had the fastest lap at the end and I got helped by DRS.

“Overall, the feeling was pretty good. It was a bit of a boring race because Red Bull were a bit too quick and behind we had a gap.

“But we took the maximum points we could today and that was the target, so that’s great.”

MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX

This time it wasn’t a grand slam for the Dutchman but it was just as easy as last week in Bahrain as he cruised to the finish line after getting past an out-of-sync Lando Norris following a safety car restart.

Sergio Perez finished second place, six seconds behind his teammate showing impressive pace for the Mexican as Lando Norris closed out the podium spots with a fastest lap to boot on the final run around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Then came Piastri, Alonso, Russell, Bearman, Norris, Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg in 10th.

THREE LAPS TO GO: It’s a battle of the Brits!

After defending from one McLaren all race, Hamilton’s now hunting down the other. He’s always in DRS but he just doesn’t have the high-speed performance to make a move stick yet.

George Russell’s reining in Fernando Alonso…

It’s a repeat of 2023 for this pair as the Mercedes closes in hot on the gearbox of the Alonso’s Aston Martin. He’s 1.2 seconds behind with five laps to go.

LAP 43: Horror pit stop for Zhou

The Chinese driver comes into finally pit for softs and Sauber seem to have the exact same problem as last week in Bahrain as they just can’t get the tyre onto the front-right.

Zhou’s now in last place and a long way behind Bottas after running in 11th.

LAP 42: Max Verstappen can finally see some cars ahead

He’s coming up to lap his old teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, who is running in 17th. Verstappen leads by 8.3 seconds.

Norris gets a black and white flag for weaving

That means he will be told to stop weaving on the straight before any penalties might be applied.

LAP 39: Lewis Hamilton is firmly on the hunt

The Mercedes is hot on the heels of Lando Norris for 8th place and he sets the fastest lap in the process of a 1:31.746, snatching it away from the Red Bull boys.

Verstappen still leads Perez by 8.6 seconds, and Perez is 12 seconds ahead of Leclerc.

LAP 38: Norris reacts to Hamilton

Lando Norris also did a huge stint on mediums and pits to cover off Lewis Hamilton who is just 1.2 seconds behind. They could be racing soon. Norris on softs and in 8th.

LAP 37: Hamilton finally pits for softs

Piastri is released and to be fair he looked like he was going to overtake him at that moment anyway, he’s up into 5th behind his teammate.

Hamilton comes out into 9th, 7.5 seconds behind Oliver Bearman but with a major performance advantage. 13 seconds to his teammate.

LAP 35: So very nearly for Piastri

The Australian finally gets a run on Hamilton and goes around the outside at Turn 1 on the racing line but misjudges his braking and has to cut the corner. He gives the place back to Hamilton.

Hamilton’s led him for 12 laps with a major tyre disadvantage. It’s been an excellent drive from the Mercedes so far. What can he do on softs later?!

LAP 34: Hulkenberg pits, massive moment for Haas

Nico Hulkenberg pits from 10th and comes out in 11th after sensational hold-up play by Kevin Magnussen to hold up the train behind him.

With Stroll out, there’s a point up for grabs and that could be massive for the teams behind Aston Martin in the pecking order.

LAP 33: Alex Albon take a bow! What a move!

The Thai-British Williams driver completely sends it down the inside of Yuki Tsunoda into Turn 1 and hits the apex making it a perfectly fair move. Good stuff! He’s into 14th now, chasing Esteban Ocon.

McLaren are looking at Plan A, Norris wants Plan B

McLaren want to pit and then have Norris cut back through the field around about now, but he wants to see how long he can go for. If there happens to be a safety car or red flag then the pit stop loss time is heavily reduced or even eliminated.

Mercedes are probably on the same line of thinking with Hamilton.

LAP 30: This is not a drill! An Alpine just gained a position!

Magnussen comes under pressure by Tsunoda, who is very fair and leaves enough space which Magnussen takes and then shoves him off the track.

That allows Esteban Ocon to jump past the RB and Tsunoda calls it dangerous driving.

Magnussen in 12th, then Ocon then Tsunoda, then Albon, then Sargeant.

LAP 27: Leclerc finally passes Norris

The Monegasque in the Ferrari finally gets past the McLaren on older tyres, but Norris looks to hold on to DRS to see if he can fight back…

LAP 25: Red Bull update

Max Verstappen set the fastest lap a couple of tours ago and leads his teammate, Sergio Perez, by 6.8 seconds.

Perez is 7 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc, who is the next “true” contender to the Red Bull so he’s two seconds safety with that time penalty for an unsafe release.

Hamilton’s showing underrated defensive skills here

The seven-time world champion has rarely had to defend in the sport but he is proving that he can race hard, fair and intelligently once again as he constantly repels the McLaren despite running 23-lap old mediums.

He’s using all of his knowledge to get good launches out of the traction zones to use his battery and extra straight-line speed to great effect. That’s 300 races of mastery and experience right there.

ANOTHER 10-second penalty for Magnussen!

The Dane has collected 20 seconds worth of penalties in 22 laps as he is punished for leaving the track and gaining an advantage to get past Yuki Tsunoda earlier in the race.

LAP 21: Bearman up to 9th

The youngster is learning every lap and finally learns enough to outsmart an old head in Nico Hulkenberg as he uses DRS to get past into Turn 1 for 9th.

LAP 20: Piastri struggling to get past Hamilton

The McLaren doesn’t seem to have the straight-line speed with DRS to get past the Mercedes, it should’ve gone past a long time ago.

Verstappen leads by six seconds. He’s checked out again.

LAP 18: Norris down to third

Perez uses DRS on the main straight and gets by into Turn 1. Norris has been forced onto an alternate strategy due to the safety car so they were never really racing each other anyway.

LAP 17: Contact between Hamilton and Piastri!

Piastri tries to go around the outside of Hamilton’s Mercedes into Turn 1 and is forced to go off track and gives the place back.

That kind of racing isn’t any good but it’s legal under the current rules of the FIA. It’ll only be a matter of time before Piastri gets through.

10-SECOND PENALTY FOR MAGNUSSEN

The Haas put a bit too much of a squeeze on the Williams of Alex Albon and they collided. Magnussen will take 10 seconds worth of pain for his poor awareness.

FIVE-SECOND PENALTY FOR PEREZ

For the unsafe release by his Red Bull crew, Perez will take a five-second penalty. He can do that within the race or have it applied after, it’s his call really. That drops him down to 7th on track at the moment.

LAP 15: Leclerc up to fourth

Lewis Hamilton’s out of position on old tyres so he’s only going to shuffle down the order as Charles Leclerc gets past him into Turn 1 with DRS.

No further investigation for Norris.

FIA INTERVENTION: Norris, Perez and Magnussen under investigation

The trio are being looked into for three different reasons. Lando Norris potentially jumped the start on Lap 1, which would be a race-destroying penalty. Sergio Perez for an unsafe release in the pitlane and Kevin Magnussen for whacking into Alex Albon at Turn 3.

LAP 13: Verstappen takes the lead again

There will be no grand slam for Max Verstappen this time but that’s about as bad as it’s going to get for the Dutchman this evening.

He wasn’t racing Norris anyway. Likewise with Sergio Perez who gets past Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1. Neither McLaren or Mercedes stopped under the safety car.

LAP 12: Magnussen hits Albon

Albon in the Williams makes a great move into Turns 1 and 2 but as they reach Turn 3, Magnussen fights back and squeezes Albon into the wall. Someone gets a bit of damage from that but it’s unclear who.

It wasn’t malicious, just poor awareness.

GREEN FLAG: LAP 10: Norris leads

The McLaren hasn’t pitted and neither has Lewis Hamilton in third. Verstappen tried an overtake into Turn 1 but it wasn’t successful.

The Dutchman is a second behind but he’s probably bringing in the hard tyres gently. He knows he isn’t racing Norris.

LAP 8: Perez possibly in trouble

Fernando Alonso has to brake in the pit-lane when they all pitted under the Stroll accident, and he reports Perez for an unsafe release. If he’s found guilty that would be a five-second time penalty.

Stroll looks emotional

Crashes are a big thing to handle mentally and Stroll is crouched behind the tecpro barriers either feeling sorry for himself or feeling shook from the accident.

It was a small error with huge consequences.

Pit-mania! Lots of cars pit including the leading trio

Norris and Hamilton stay out and so they settle into 1st and 3rd. They were too close to their teammates to make a double-stop viable.

Verstappen still leads Perez who still leads Leclerc.

Stroll hit the wall

As he did in practice, the Canadian clipped the inside wall and after that it was impossible for him to prevent the accident.

It was very similar to how George Russell crashed out of the race in Singapore last season.

SAFETY CAR: STROLL OUT

That’s a big crash for the Aston Martin at the very fast Turn 22, he’s out of the race with significant damage.

The driver is okay, fortunately.

LAP 6: The race has already settled down

There are a couple of half-chances to make overtakes but everyone else has already seemed to settle into their race pace positions. Alonso has DRS on Piastri but he can’t get close enough, likewise with Russell on Norris.

LAP 3: Perez passes Leclerc

DRS made that overtake seem so easy as the drastically different closing speeds left Leclerc with little to no chance of defending second place.

Perez now trails Verstappen by 2.5 seconds, who just set the fastest lap.

LAP 2: Verstappen’s broken DRS

Verstappen leads Leclerc by 1.1 seconds and that’s a big help to Sergio Perez in the fastest Red Bull car.

Oscar Piastri gets past Fernando Alonso for fourth but he’s unable to break away in the McLaren. Lando Norris potentially jumped the start, that would be a drive-through penalty if he did.

Oliver Bearman is violently scrapping with Yuki Tsunoda for 10th place!

LAP 1: Gasly OUT with a gearbox problem

That gearbox issue was too critical and Pierre Gasly becomes the first retirement of the race after half a lap.

LIGHTS OUT! Here we go! Verstappen leads from Leclerc!

The world champion gets away quite well but Sergio Perez gets a good launch and goes wheel to wheel with Charles Leclerc through sector one before Perez eventually concedes the place.

Gasly reported a gearbox issue on the way to the grid but he took the start and then was told to box!

FORMATION LAP

The Grand Prix start is just moments away! Can Charles Leclerc take the lead from Max Verstappen?

10 MINUTES TO GO

We have 10 minutes to go until the race starts! Who do you think will win the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?

Have Red Bull messed up their set-up?

Verstappen stormed to a dominant pole position yesterday but could there be a glimmer of hope? The Dutchman revealed Red Bull made changes to the car after FP2, could they have unknowingly hurt themselves in the race?

“It’s a street circuit, a lot of things can happen always,” Verstappen said to Sky Sports F1. “Yellow flags, Safety Cars, and stuff. 

“Also from our side we changed quite a few things on the car from practice, FP1 and FP2, so hopefully it’s in the right direction for the race run as well. 

“But normally I’m quite confident. Just mechanical changes on the car.”

AJ’s in the paddock after his emphatic victory over Francis Ngannou

Can anyone knock out Max Verstappen’s chances of winning the Saudi Arabian GP for the second time in his career today?

How does Oliver Bearman feel about his first GP?

The teenager is about to race an F1 car for the first ever time but how does he feel about it? He hasn’t even had the chance to do any race runs yet!

“It’s going to be a difficult race,” said the 18-year-old to Sky Sports F1. “I thought I was prepared for F1 until I got to this track which is maybe the most difficult one, so it’s a baptism of fire.

“I think the main thing [in the race] is to just take it step by step and build on the performance of yesterday. Today I think I’m going to execute things slightly cleaner 

“Of course I would be satisfied to finish in the points but of course I’m kind of not looking at results, I’m more focused on my own performance and I’d be happy if I had a clean race and keep building my experience.”

Will mother nature serve up any curve balls tonight?

ANALYSIS: Can anyone stop Max Verstappen?

Total-Motorsport’s Adam Dickinson takes a look…

Here is the grid for the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP…

ICYMI: Carlos Sainz will not compete in the Saudi Arabian GP

The Spanish driver fell sick with appendicitis and had to withdraw from the event. He has had surgery and is now recovering with the aim of appearing at the next grand prix after today.

That means that Oliver Bearman stepped into the F1 car and he impressed on his debut, almost eliminating Lewis Hamilton from qualifying enroute to P11.

How will he do in the race today?

Enzo Fittipaldi wins in Formula 2!

After overtaking Kush Maini to take the net “true” lead of the feature race, everything turned on its head for the young Brazilian driver when a late safety car came out.

It gave a few drivers the chance to pit for soft tyres leaving Fittpaldi with moves to make if he wanted to win and that’s exactly what he did in order to take his first ever feature race in the series.

Doriane Pin wins in F1 Academy!

The Frenchwoman has had an excellent start to her weekend by winning both races in F1 Academy from lights-to-flag. The only gremlin was that she didn’t manage to take the fastest lap in the first race.

The series debutant controlled the race comfortably and showed good speed to pull away but she did forget to take the chequered flag as she carried on for two more laps, which she is under investigation for.

Pirelli Tyre Information for Saudi Arabian GP 2024

F1 2024 Saudi Arabian GP Start Time

CountrySaudi Arabian GP 2024 Start Time
Saudi ArabiaMarch 10, 20:00
UKMarch 10, 17:00
Canada (ET/PT)March 10, 12:00 / 09:00
USA (ET/PT)March 10, 12:00 / 09:00
IrelandMarch 10, 17:00
Australia (AEDT)March 11, 04:00
South AfricaMarch 10, 19:00
New ZealandMarch 11, 06:00
EU (CET)March 10, 18:00

When and where to watch the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP?

For viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP sees lights out at 17:00 GMT, allowing fans to enjoy the action in the early evening, with the race broadcast live on Sky Sports F1.

Over in the United States, fans on the East Coast can watch the race start at 12:00 ET, while those on the West Coast have a morning start at 09:00 PT. The 2024 Saudi Arabian GP is live on ESPN 2 and ESPN+.

Australian viewers are set for an early Monday morning, with the race beginning at 04:00 AEDT, and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 506.

Meanwhile, in Canada, fans can catch the start at the same times as the US, with 12:00 ET for the East and 09:00 PT for the West, with the race broadcast on TSN 3/5.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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