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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: F1 result as Hamilton claims pole after Verstappen hits wall

·13 min read

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will look to take an important step towards the F1 title when the championship rivals battle for pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix today ahead of Sunday’s race. Mercedes set the early pace in Friday’s practice sessions in Jeddah, with Hamilton topping FP1 and teammate Valtteri Bottas leading the way in FP2 on a wickedly quick track at the Corniche Circuit, but Verstappen was not far behind in the Red Bull. Indeed, the Dutchman then went fastest on the softs in FP3 on Saturday afternoon, beating Hamilton by two-tenths.

Hamilton converted from pole position at the Qatar Grand Prix to cut Verstappen’s championship lead to eight points last time out, and a similar starting position for the penultimate race of the season could be vital in what is a brand-new street circuit where overtaking may be difficult. The seven-time champion was happy with Mercedes’ pace but did raise some concerns over his car’s one-lap showings, revealing that more work was needed ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.

“We’re not rapid on the single lap, I would say, compared to the others, but our long-run pace seemed like it was not too bad... Who knows what’s going on?” Hamilton said, while adding that the Jeddah Corniche Circuit was “unbelievably quick” during Friday’s practice sessions. “It really is incredibly fast,” he said. “But if you can get the rhythm, it’s beautiful to drive.” Follow all the build-up and results from qualifying LIVE below:

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F1 start time: When is Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying today and what TV channel is it on?

‘Like Suzuka with walls’: Jeddah’s controversial circuit ripe for drama in first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Key Points

  • Qualifying to start from 5pm GMT

  • Verstappen leads Hamilton by eight points with two races left

  • Hamilton summoned to race stewards for allegedly failing to respect waved flags

  • Hamilton cleared but receives reprimand following Mazepin incident

Hamilton on pole for Saudi Arabian GP

18:08 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton: “What a tough track this is. The speed here is phenomenal. For us to be a one-two, this is a great, great result. That Red Bull is rapid and I anticipate a battle tomorrow.”

1) Hamilton

2) Bottas

3) Verstappen

4) Leclerc

5) Perez

6) Gasly

7) Norris

8) Tsunoda

9) Ocon

10) Giovinazzi

HAMILTON ON POLE AFTER VERSTAPPEN HITS THE WALL

18:04 , Jamie Braidwood

What just happened?! Lewis Hamilton claims pole position, with Bottas second as Mercedes lock out the front row!

And Verstappen’s car took damage there - what could that mean for tomorrow’s race?!

VERSTAPPEN HITS THE WALL

18:02 , Jamie Braidwood

UNBELIEVABLE! Verstappen hits the wall and Lewis Hamilton is on pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix!

That’s incredible - Verstappen was clocking faster than Hamilton heading into the final two corners of his lap!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

18:01 , Jamie Braidwood

The clock strikes into the red - this is it for Verstappen.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

18:00 , Jamie Braidwood

Massive from Hamilton! He claims provisional pole with a much-improved 1:27.511!

Verstappen is out but he’s gone wide in Turn 2!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:59 , Jamie Braidwood

That’s much better from Hamilton to start his latest hot lap. He’s +0.023 to Verstappen!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:54 , Jamie Braidwood

Hamilton goes fastest in Q3 with a 1:28.035, but that’s much slower than his best time in Q2.

And wow, look at this! Verstappen was clocking faster through the sectors and he crossing the line four-tenths faster to take provisional pole!

It’s a 1:27.653 for Verstappen!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:53 , Jamie Braidwood

Oh my word! Hamilton almost loses control of his car coming through the apex, with his tyres sliding all over the place. He is forced to use the run-off area, and thankfully there was one there available to him.

That ended his flying lap but will go again when crossing the line.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:51 , Jamie Braidwood

Now, this is where things get interesting. After Hamilton escaped a grid penalty for those two incidents in practice, can he claim a pole position ahead of Sunday’s race?

It’s still so hard to tell who is faster out there - Hamilton or his title rival Verstappen. They’ve been exchanging top spot so far.

Whoever grabs pole could claim a huge advantage in the title race - these are some huge moments in the season! Q3 is underway.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:44 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton eventually does find some grip as he tops the leaderboard at the end of Q2, leading Sergio Perez and then Max Verstappen by two-tenths.

Hamilton was out on track for four more laps than Verstappen, which could have an impact on his starting tyres tomorrow.

Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Alonso, Russell and Sainz are all out. The Ferrari driver did not have a good session there, almost running his car into the wall after catching a kerb.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:33 , Jamie Braidwood

Max Verstappen goes sub-1:28 as he goes top of the leaderboard inside the opening minutes of Q2.

Valtteri Bottas goes second, three-tenths behind Verstappen, but Hamilton is 0.7s off the pace with 10 minutes of Q2 to go.

And get this from Hamilton: “I don’t know what we’re doing, I’ve got no grip out here.”

BREAKING: Hamilton escapes grid penalty but hit with reprimand

17:30 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton has escaped a grid penalty after being summoned to the stewards for two separate incidents during final practice session at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

It was announced that Hamilton would face no further action after he was cleared of failing to ignore double yellow flags.

But Hamilton was hit with a reprimand and Mercedes were fined €25,000 for a separate incident in which he impeded Nikita Mazepin.

Lewis Hamilton escapes grid penalty after Saudi Arabian Grand Prix practice incidents

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:21 , Jamie Braidwood

Both Aston Martins are eliminated at the end of P1! Vettel and Stroll drop out and are joined by Latifi, Schumacher and Mazepin.

Perez ends P1 fastest with Bottas second.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:16 , Jamie Braidwood

Five minutes to go in Q1! Latifi, Schumacher, Vettel, Stroll and Mazepin are the drivers at risk.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying

17:14 , Jamie Braidwood

Max Verstappen returns to the top of the leaderboard midway through Q1 after clocking a 1:28.285. Carlos Sainz was fastest before then and he and Charles Leclerc seem to have the advantage of the McLarens so far. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have also set times in the 1:28s.

Hamilton to face no further action for yellow flag incident

17:10 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton will face no further action after he was cleared of failing to ignore double yellow flags during practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was summoned to the stewards for two separate incidents in Jeddah and the Mercedes driver could yet be penalised after was he caught up with Nikita Mazepin.

The FIA says the “on-board video clearly shows there was no yellow flag displayed, no yellow lights were displayed to that driver and the yellow warning light was not visible on the driver’s steering wheel.”

Story:

Lewis Hamilton to face no further action for yellow flag incident at Saudi Arabian GP

Saudi Arabia GP

17:06 , Jamie Braidwood

Qualifying is underway in Jeddah! Max Verstappen goes fastest in Q1 but Lewis Hamilton ran wide during his first flying lap.

Breaking: No further action for Hamilton for double waved yellows

16:51 , Jamie Braidwood

The FIA says the “on-board video clearly shows there was no yellow flag displayed, no yellow lights were displayed to that driver and the yellow warning light was not visible on the driver’s steering wheel.”

Their verdict adds: “The Race Director reported to the Stewards that the double yellow flag warning on the FIA Marshalling System was activated at Light Panel Number 6 accidentally, for less than one second.

“Unlike further incidents this year, there was no yellow flag or yellow light displayed to the driver hence no breach of the regulations has occurred.”

BREAKING: No further action for Hamilton for double waved yellows

16:47 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton will face no further action for not slowing down during double yellow flags, the FIA have confirmed.

However, there were two incidents being investigated and we are still yet to hear the verdict for getting caught up with Mazepin.

Saudi Arabian GP

16:37 , Jamie Braidwood

We’re still awaiting news of the stewards’ verdict following their investigations into Hamilton’s driving during FP3.

Qualifying is set to get underway in around 20 minutes in Jeddah.

It could well be that we don’t find out the outcome of their investigations until after qualifying, with any potential grid penalties coming into affect afterwards for Sunday’s race.

Saudi Arabian GP

16:25 , Jamie Braidwood

Mercedes have changed Valtteri Bottas’ engine ahead of qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to a fuel leak in his power unit.

Mercedes will replace the engine from their pool of units so he does not face an engine penalty.

Saudi Arabian GP

16:19 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton has returned to the Mercedes garage after he was summoned to the stewards.

He was there for 15 minutes.

Hamilton summoned to stewards at Saudi Arabian GP

16:14 , Jamie Braidwood

These are the incidents in question in which Hamilton appeared to get in the way of both Gasly and Mazepin in FP3.

The FIA have said they are investigating the Mazepin incident, in which Hamilton was fortunate he didn’t get wiped out by the Haas.

Hamilton was on a cool-down lap while both Gasly and Mazepin were on hot laps.

Hamilton summoned to stewards at Saudi Arabian GP

16:04 , Jamie Braidwood

Hamilton is due to see the stewards at 4pm GMT where he will explain his version of events and find out his punishment.

The Mercedes driver allegedly failed to respect double yellow flags at 22 minutes into Free Practice 3 and was later caught up in incidents with Nikita Mazepin and Pierre Gasly in the session.

The FIA have also opened a separate investigation into the incident with Mazepin.

FIA race director Michael Masi said he would speak to Mercedes about the potential infringements, adding that it “wasn’t great at all” from Hamilton.

If found guilty of a yellow flag infringement and a grid penalty is confirmed, it would be a major blow to Mercedes and to Hamilton’s hopes of winning his eighth world title at a crucial juncture in the season.

Lewis Hamilton facing possible grid penalty at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

BREAKING: Hamilton summoned to stewards at Saudi Arabian GP

15:51 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton faces a possible grid penalty after he was summoned to the stewards for apparently failing to respect double waved yellow flags during final practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

His title rival, Max Verstappen, who leads the standings by eight points with two races remaining, was hit with a five-place grid penalty for a similar infringement at the last race in Qatar.

If confirmed, it would be a major blow to Mercedes and Hamilton’s hopes of winning his eighth world title.

Lewis Hamilton facing possible grid penalty at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

15:47 , Jamie Braidwood

Max Verstappen beat title rival Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session for Sunday’s inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as the reigning champion survived a near miss.

The Dutchman set a time of one minute 28.100 seconds, 0.214 secs faster than Hamilton in second place as the Brit aims for three successive wins with the title picture taking shape.

Hamilton was spiky on the team radio when Verstappen’s fastest time was relayed to him and his Mercedes was almost wiped out by the Haas of Nikita Mazepin, who was on a hot lap with Hamilton returning to the pits.

Full FP3 report, here:

Max Verstappen picks up pace in final practice for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

15:42 , Jamie Braidwood

Charles Leclerc has apologised to Ferrari following his crash in FP2 on Friday. The Monegasque had a high-speed crash at Turn 23, forcing Ferrari into major repairs to get the car ready for qualifying today.

“Yes, a day that unfortunately didn’t end up the way that I wanted, but overall we went through everything we wanted to test,” Leclerc said. “I think the potential is here and if we put everything together for tomorrow, we should have a good day.

“But obviously, I’m sorry for the team that will have to do a big, big work ahead of tomorrow for the car to be ready, and hopefully I will do a good enough job to thank them in the best way possible with a good result tomorrow.”

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

15:34 , Jamie Braidwood

Max Verstappen went fastest on the softs in the third and final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton by two-tenths at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Hamilton set the early pace on the hards but couldn’t improve upon his time after changing tyres later in the session. It was a good showing overall from Red Bull, with Sergio Perez finishing third overall.

1) Verstappen - 1:28.100

2) Hamilton +0.214

3) Perez +0.529

4) Tsunoda +0.541

5) Gasly +0.615

6) Bottas +0.919

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

15:24 , Lawrence Ostlere

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will look to take an important step towards the F1 title when the championship rivals battle for pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix today ahead of Sunday’s race. Mercedes set the early pace in Friday’s practice sessions in Jeddah, with Hamilton topping FP1 and teammate Valtteri Bottas leading the way in FP2 on a wickedly quick track at the Corniche Circuit, but Verstappen was not far behind in the Red Bull.

Hamilton converted from pole position at the Qatar Grand Prix to cut Verstappen’s championship lead to eight points last time out, and a similar starting position for of the penultimate race of the season could be vital in what is a brand-new street circuit where overtaking may be difficult. The seven-time champion was happy with Mercedes’ pace but did raise some concerns over his car’s one-lap showings, revealing that more work was needed ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.

“We’re not rapid on the single lap, I would say, compared to the others, but our long-run pace seemed like it was not too bad... Who knows what’s going on?” Hamilton said, while adding that the Jeddah Corniche Circuit was “unbelievably quick” during Friday’s practice sessions. “It really is incredibly fast,” he said. “But if you can get the rhythm, it’s beautiful to drive.”

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