F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 LIVE! Race result, updates and latest news as Sergio Perez wins

F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 LIVE! Race result, updates and latest news as Sergio Perez wins

F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix LIVE!

Sergio Perez held off Max Verstappen to win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Red Bull's dominant start to the new season continued in Jeddah. Perez crossed the line 5.3 seconds clear of team-mate Verstappen, who fought back from 15th after he limped out of qualifying with a driveshaft failure.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso took the final spot on the podium but was later penalised, bringing up George Russell for a first Mercedes podium of the campaign, with Lewis Hamilton fifth. Red Bull are on another planet this season, and their crushing one-two finish - their second in as many races - will be a major cause of concern for F1 bosses as it embarks on a record 23-round calendar.

Russell said after the season-opening race in Bahrain a fortnight ago that he expects Red Bull to win every race this year, and their rapid form here on the Red Sea has done little to dispel the British driver's chilling prediction.

F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix updates

  • LIGHTS OUT! Alonso into first but penalised

  • SAFETY CAR! Stroll retires

  • CHEQUERED FLAG! Perez wins

  • PENALTY! Alonso loses third place

Thanks for joining us!

19:37 , Marc Mayo

In a fortnight’s time it is the turn of Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix as the chasing pack look to catch Red Bull in the early weeks of the 2023 campaign.

But it’s Sergio Perez victorious in Saudi Arabia!

Recap the full race with our report from Jeddah.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Fernando Alonso denied his 100th F1 podium

19:28 , Marc Mayo

There was post-race heartbreak for Fernando Alonso in Saudi Arabia as he was handed a ten-second time penalty.

That knocked him off the podium, elevating George Russell into third place

Read the full story!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The points scorers in Saudi

19:19 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen understandably not bouncing off the walls with that result

19:15 , Marc Mayo

George Russell reacts to his podium finish

19:06 , Marc Mayo

“An interesting race, after the safety car Lewis was on the medium and had a bit more pace at the beginning. I knew my pace was coming at the end.

“But there was a lot of confusion because I thought Fernando had a five-second penalty so I didn’t want us both fighting between one another and us both lose out.

“I think the penalty for Fernando is pretty harsh, they are the deserving podium finishers today, but I’ll take a trophy so I’m not complaining too much!”

Confirmation from F1 of Alonso’s penalty

19:00 , Marc Mayo


18:56 , Marc Mayo

The Aston Martin driver loses his third-place finish and George Russell will take the final step on the podium!

Motivating words from Lewis Hamilton

18:52 , Marc Mayo

A worry for Fernando Alonso

18:47 , Marc Mayo

A 100th F1 podium may be taken off the Aston Martin driver...

Replays suggest work on his car began before the five-second penalty was served during the race.

In Bahrain, Esteban Ocon served an additional ten seconds for that. Such a penalty would knock George Russell into third!

Time for the podium

18:42 , Marc Mayo

The Mexican and Austrian national anthems are played out before it’s time for the champagne!

A near-perfect start to the 2023 campaign for Red Bull.

The people’s champion

18:37 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen has been voted Driver of the Day by fans - and he remains the championship leader with that fastest lap point.

Max Verstappen reviews the race

18:34 , Marc Mayo

“It wasn’t very easy to get through the field. A lot of sliding around. But we got into a good rhythm and very happy to be on the podium.

“We had a big gap behind so at one point we decided to call it a day and settle for second.”

Up next is Fernando Alonso

18:33 , Marc Mayo

“What a start to the season, unthinkable one month ago.

“I made a mistake [at the start], I need to review that.”

Sergio Perez gives his reaction

18:31 , Marc Mayo

“We did the job in the first stint but the safety car tried to take the victory here like last year. But we got it.

“The team did a great job, we had a lot of mechanical issues but they got on top of it.”

How’s that for a No2 driver?!

18:27 , Marc Mayo

Not quick enough for Russell!

18:26 , Marc Mayo

A five-second time penalty for Alonso will NOT be enough for him to lose his spot on the podium.

The Spaniard rocked home 5.1 secons clear of Russell on that final lap.


18:25 , Marc Mayo


And Verstappen absolutely launches through the final lap to nick his fastest lap point to take second place.

Alonso third ahead of Russell as we wait to hear about a potential second penalty for the Aston...

Aston Martin DO fear a penalty

18:24 , Marc Mayo

Alonso told to build a five-second gap on Russell just in case - but he’s told the team think they’re clean.

There is talk the team lifted Alonso’s car too early during his penalty earlier.

“I’m pushing like a mad man!” says Russell.

A 4.8-second gap as the final lap begins for race leader Perez.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 49/50

18:21 , Marc Mayo

Mercedes tell Russell to keep within five seconds of Alonso, who may suffer another five-second penalty after the race.

That’s news to us! Not quite sure why he would, having suffered a penalty earlier on for being out of place at the start.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 48/50

18:20 , Marc Mayo

Perez now cruising to victory, six seconds clear of Verstappen who is clearly backing off to save his engine but will surely make a fastest-lap run in a moment’s time.

Some classic team radio

18:19 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen: “What’s the fastest lap?”

Red Bull: “We’re not concerned about that right now.”

Verstappen: “Yeah but I am!”

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 46/50

18:18 , Marc Mayo

Magnussen out to provide some late drama as he has a launch at Tsunoda for tenth place and the final championship point.

Further back, that McLaren battle sees Piastri get the jump on Norris. Nice little statement that, as they tussle into turn one and the Brit comes out on top.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 45/50

18:16 , Marc Mayo

There are no drivers within a second of each other all the way down to 16th, where Norris and Piastri are chasing Sargeant.

Alonso is 17 behind Verstappen, with Russell five back before a three-second gap to Hamilton.

Ferrari told Sainz he will have a shot at the Brit when his Medium tyres go off late on, yet he is 4.8 second behind him.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 43/50

18:13 , Marc Mayo

Perez now asking Red Bull if they are telling Verstappen to go any quicker than his current target lap-time.

Clearly no love lost between the two team-mates when they are fighting for wins...

But, the Mexican is well on course to win here.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 41/50

18:10 , Marc Mayo

Those Red Bulls appear to not like the bumpy streets of Jeddah too much with Perez calling in with a brake pedal worry.

These cars do take a beating across the kerbs at these mega high speeds. Red Bull are happy, though.

Verstappen is back to within 4.3 seconds of his team-mate ahead of the final 10 laps.

Max Verstappen still concerned

18:07 , Marc Mayo

A “weird noise at high speed” is now bothering the man running in second place and he’s lost half a second on Perez, who now holds the fastest lap!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 38/50

18:05 , Marc Mayo

“I feel like the driveshaft is running a bit rough,” Verstappen tells team radio.

And what went ping to cause his retirement from qualifying yesterday? The driveshaft.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 36/50

18:03 , Marc Mayo

Perez nicks the fastest lap off Verstappen before the defending champion chomps four tenths off his team-mate with a personal best!

Cynics may think the Dutchman doesn’t need to win tonight to claim the championship and, ultimately, they may be true. But Verstappen will certainly not see it that way...

Matt Majendie in Jeddah

18:00 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen now has 17 laps of cat and mouse to catch teammate Sergio Perez.

He’s already taken nearly a second off the Mexican’s advantage since moving into second but it’s taken him eight laps.

Mathematically, you’d think it’s too big an ask to make up 4.8 seconds in the remaining circuits here in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 33/50

17:59 , Marc Mayo

Tsunoda currently holding out well in the final point position, behind the two Alpines and in front of the Haas pair.

Sargeant is on the march though, chasing down Hulkenberg in 12th.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 32/50

17:56 , Marc Mayo

Interesting to see a 3.7-second gap open up between Hamilton and Sainz as Mercedes pull out a convincing advantage over Ferrari.

Russell now almost two seconds in front of Hamilton having kicked up a gear, Alonso two seconds further up the road.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 30/50

17:52 , Marc Mayo

Rather amusingly, Russell’s argument over team radio was that Alonso’s five-second penalty means Mercedes shouldn’t be fighting right now.

He then gets told Alonso has already taken his penalty - drawing a reply of “Ah f***” - Russell’s argument stills holds weight nonetheless, he claims!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 28/50

17:51 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton has closed right up to Russell and, on the quicker tyre, may hope for team orders to ease him through to fourth place.

No sign of the younger Brit pulling over yet though!

Albon retires

17:49 , Marc Mayo

Brake issues do for the Williams as he drifts back into the pits.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 26/50

17:47 , Marc Mayo

So, Perez has just over five seconds on Verstappen as the second half of the rae commences.

Alonso is hanging onto the Dutchman though courtesy of DRS.

Hamilton is almost within a second of Russell so may yet fancy a run on his team-mate.


17:45 , Marc Mayo

Alonso has nothing as Verstappen fires past the Aston Martin for second place!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 24/50

17:43 , Marc Mayo

DRS is switched back on after the safety car period so here comes Verstappen...

Flying into the final corner it is just so easy for the Red Bull!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 22/50

17:40 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen was maybe merely generating battery power for a fresh go at Russell but the next run into turn one is safely navigated for the Mercedes.

Further back, Hamilton gets Sainz for fifth!

Matt Majendie in Jeddah

17:39 , Marc Mayo

Fernando Alonso will be delighted with teammate Lance Stroll bringing out the safety car because he serves his five-second penalty while pitting, the negative impact of which is virtually nil on him.

It leaves him right on the tail of Sergio Perez for the restart. Other big winners include Max Verstappen, now in a winnable position in fourth, and Lewis Hamilton, who somehow now finds himself in sixth.


Green flag!

17:39 , Marc Mayo

Perez holds off before darting into the distance.

Russell has a go at Alonso but stays third as Verstappen keeps his distance.

Safety car ending

17:37 , Marc Mayo

We’re about to go racing again in Jeddah...

Tsunoda is another beneficiary of that safety car and is running eighth before the two Alpines.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 20/50

17:34 , Marc Mayo

With all the others cars going so slowly, that five-second penalty was somewhat dampened for Alonso and he comes out second.

Russell third, Verstappen fourth and Sainz fifth.

Hamilton pits for Mediums and drops back in between the Ferrari pair, in sixth, which is a very decent result for Mercedes!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 19/50

17:33 , Marc Mayo

Who will dive into the pits, then?

Perez is first through for Hards as Red Bull double-stack their drivers.

Alonso also drops by for that five-second penalty before his tyre change.


17:31 , Marc Mayo

A mega chance for those who have not yet pitted.


17:31 , Marc Mayo

“Stop the car, stop on track!” the Canadian is out!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 17/50

17:30 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen is now on the tail of Leclerc and strolls up towards the inside line ahead of the main straight, deliberately not making the overtake so he can get another DRS burst on the long run into turn one.

No issues though as Leclerc pits for new tyres, dropping in between Sainz and Stroll as the Aston loses another position!

More pit stops

17:28 , Marc Mayo

Now Sainz comes in with fresh Hards strapped on, the Ferrari coming out comfortably ahead of Stroll.

The overcut winning out over the undercut so far...

Stroll stops

17:26 , Marc Mayo

Into the pits comes Stroll from fourth, prompting Sainz to stay out despite the Ferrari mechanics heading out with their wheel guns.

The Aston is back out in 11th on the Hard tyres.

Matt Majendie in Jeddah

17:25 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton’s mood in the paddock after qualifying on Saturday was not a particularly good one.

At a loss to explain why George Russell was so much quicker then he was in the W14, that mood won’t have been lifted by the team’s tyre strategy for this race.

He’s getting no love on the hard tryes and is easy prey for anyone behind him, Max Verstappen most recently.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 14/50

17:24 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc is keeping himself ahead of Verstappen nicely, getting Ocon next who has just over a second on the Red Bull in seventh.

Alonso has dropped right off Perez since losing DRS, meanwhile, at a gap of 3.9 seconds but with seven seconds over Russell.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 12/50

17:21 , Marc Mayo

Alonso told over team radio that the Hard tyre is not looking great, meaning they will extend their first stint and attempt a Medium-Soft strategy.

Hamilton has been complaining that his Hards are nothing special... just as Verstappen latches onto his tail.

Down the main straight and it’s a simple move for the Red Bull!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 11/50

17:20 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen gets Gasly next to bring Hamilton into view.

Further up, Alonso has put over six seconds on Russell but is now 1.5 seconds off leader Perez. DRS has been broken by the Mexican!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 10/50

17:18 , Marc Mayo

A black-and-white flag is handed down to Hamilton, a warning for weaving in defending against Leclerc.

That compels him to calm it down and simply open the door the Ferrari into seventh place, which he happily steps through.

Verstappen into the points

17:16 , Marc Mayo

A sweet move from Verstappen gets Zhou for tenth place.

Points place currently shared between the two Alpines, Mercedes, Red Bulls, Aston Martins and Ferraris.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 8/50

17:15 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc fires through Gasly to grab eighth and should get Hamilton next, on a much quicker tyre than the Mercedes.

Meanwhile, here’s why Alonso got that penalty:

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 7/50

17:13 , Marc Mayo

Perez has not launched much further up the road since taking the lead and is still yet to break DRS on Alonso.

Russell leads Stroll and Sainz in a DRS train, just like it is with Gasly under a second behind Hamilton in the battle for seventh. Leclerc follows closely in ninth.

Matt Majendie in Jeddah

17:10 , Marc Mayo

You get the sense with the Fernando Alonso five-second penalty that there potentially goes the race by way of a head to head with Sergio Perez, although the Mexican already looks to have more than enough pace to control this race without it.

Alonso takes it on the chin with a simple reply of “copy” when informed of his punishment.

Meanwhile, Max Verstappen is not making up as much ground as expected. He’s up to 13th from 15th.


17:09 , Marc Mayo

Down into turn one on lap four, the Red Bull makes it stick!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 3/50

17:08 , Marc Mayo

Both McLarens have had to pit for new front wings following the early skirmishes. They take the Hard tyres.

Verstappen has jumped up two places to 13th with Leclerc now ninth as DRS turns on.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)


17:06 , Marc Mayo

Nightmare for Aston!

That incorrect starting location has penalised the race leader.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Lap 2/50

17:06 , Marc Mayo

Perez has a look into Alonso down into the first turn of lap two, but nothing doing.

Russell third ahead of Stroll, Sainz, Ocon and Hamilton - who is on the slower, Hard tyre.

Lap 1/50

17:05 , Marc Mayo

Stroll gets Sainz on the first lap and it’s all happening here!

BUT Alonso is being investigated for his start position...

And Piastri has lost bodywork from P8 as things got busy.

F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023: LIGHTS OUT!

17:03 , Marc Mayo

Some smoking brakes as the back markers make their way up to the start line a little slowly...

And away they go!


Formation lap

17:01 , Marc Mayo

Lando Norris, starting 19th, is the only other driver on the Soft tyre for the start.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023: Formation lap

16:59 , Marc Mayo

It’s go time.

Let’s see who’s on what tyre: all the front six are on the Mediums then Hamilton on the Hards.

Leclerc in 12th and on the Softs for a good start.

Max Verstappen’s route to victory

16:58 , Marc Mayo

It will be very interesting to see how Verstappen gets through the pack.

Presuming it’s all clean form the off, it might not be until Fernando Alonso draws onto his horizon that the Dutchman faces a real challenge for an overtake.

Therefore, it would not be a surprise to see Red Bull attempt the undercut to ease Verstappen through the pack with an early tyre change.

Should he catch Perez... well, let’s hope they let them race!

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix tyre strategy

16:55 , Marc Mayo

Pirelli reckon a one-stopper is the way to go tonight... but which tyre will the pack start on?

Matt Majendie in Jeddah

16:51 , Marc Mayo

Will Smith is the star attraction on the grid, choosing to solely loiter by car No44, that of Lewis Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Red Bill technical guru Adrian Newey is poring over his rivals’ cars. Not sure what there is for him to gain as he stands behind the currently quite sluggish Mercedes.

F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023: Countdown to the race

16:50 , Marc Mayo

Just ten minutes until we get underway!

Max Verstappen out to win from 15th

16:48 , Marc Mayo

A big test of Verstappen in Saudi today.

The two-time world champion tells Sky F1: “We have a quick car but I still need to be careful, it’s a long championship but I have to score as many points as I can.

“It’s not entirely realistic to win but I’m going to do the best I can to see where we end up. We have a great car in the corners and in straight-line speed.”

Fred Vasseur content Ferrari have fixed their issues

16:44 , Marc Mayo

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur jokes on the starting grid he is loving life in his new job.

A big part of that today will be getting both his cars to the chequered flag without any further technical bugs.

He tells Sky F1: “It’s a nice life! No pressure...

“The issue we had in Bahrain was completely unexpected and the first time all yeaar, so we have to understand what happened exactly but it’s under control, we have no big occupation with it this weekend.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Matt Majendie on the grid in Jeddah

16:42 , Marc Mayo

It’s the usual mayhem on the grid as it floods with people in the final half hour before the race.

Lewis Hamilton is last to arrive after a weekend of struggle, admitting after qualifying he simply couldn’t get to grips with the W14.

Fernando Alonso heads to the front row

16:38 , Marc Mayo

It has not actually been that long since Alonso put his car on the front row in qualifying.

Last season’s wet Canadian Grand Prix saw the Spaniard land his Alpine high up on the grid. Before that, he had a decade-long wait running back to Germany in 2012!

Late work on Max Verstappen’s car

16:34 , Marc Mayo

Mechanics are currently hovering around Verstappen’s Red Bull on the grid with not long to go until the race.

But team boss Christian Horner tells Sky F1: “No problem, just a little bit of fluid out the resevoir. Just a bit of a tidy up, nothing significant.”

Lewis Hamilton previews the race

16:30 , Marc Mayo

“It’s a beautiful day, looking forward to the race. It’s a new day, a new opportunity. I’m focused on being positive and having fun.

“I love racing, we’re so privileged to do what we do so I’m just going to try and enjoy today.

“I’m going to try and progress forward but for me it’s about gaining as many points for the team.”

Pit lane open!

16:24 , Marc Mayo

Time for the drivers to hop in their cars and tour the circuit ahead of forming up on the grid.

Ferrari issues not fully solved

16:21 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc’s DNF in Bahrain and ten-place grid penalty after Ferrari’s electrical issues are not quite over, according to Nico Rosberg.

“It’s the control electronics that completely blew up and the worst is that they don’t actually know why it happened,” he tells Sky F1.

“So they had to change everything and they don’t know if it will happen again. So far, everything is okay but you never know. The race is long.”

F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023: Countdown to the race

16:14 , Marc Mayo

We will get underway in just 45 minutes down in Saudi!

Oscar Piastri one to watch

16:09 , Marc Mayo

An eighth-place start in Saudi today marks the best performance of Piastri’s incredibly young F1 career.

“It felt good,” he said.

“I think we were in a pretty good spot in FP3 with the balance, which transferred to qualifying whih was nice. Feeling a bit better than yesterday, getting more confidence and getting back up to speed in Jeddah.

“All felt good, put in some good laps so there we are.”

Mum’s the word for our F1 drivers

16:04 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen calm ahead of a big fightback

15:59 , Marc Mayo

“Yesterday of course didn’t really go to plan but we have a great racecar so I’m excited to try and fight my way forward.

“It’s gonna be an interesting race, a lot of things happen around here as well because it’s not an easy track. But looking forward to it.”

All eyes on this man today

15:54 , Marc Mayo

Sergio Perez could very plausibly lead the F1 world championship tonight ahead of starting on pole position in Saudi Arabia.

The Mexican will genuinely believe he can challenge Max Verstappen for the title and, therefore, this really is a must-win race for him.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Fernando Alonso discusses strategy off the start line

15:48 , Marc Mayo

Fernando Alonso says nothing has been ruled out by Aston Martin as he looks to get the jump on Sergio Perez from the starting grid.

“The degradation is very different here compared to Bahrain,” he tells Sky F1.

“Maybe we don’t have the same advantage in race pace but the car is performing well, especially in high speed corners. We’re in for the podium so let’s see if we can reach it.

“All three tyres are possibiltiies. The Mediums seem quite okay, the Hard gives freedom in the strategy. We are considering them all.

“The new regulations aimed to have close competition and, with Red Bull in another league, after them there are 15 cars or so within five tenths of each others. It’s very exciting.”

A football legend in the Ferrari paddock

15:42 , Marc Mayo

Well, a legend if you’re Italian, at least- like Ferrari!

Toto Wolff delivers Mercedes update

15:37 , Marc Mayo

So, where are Mercedes at?

Toto Wolff gave some insight into the seven-time Constructors’ champions after qualifying.

“We’re making really big steps at the moment with our research and development, with our understanding in the wind tunnel,” said the team boss.

“We just needed to have the confirmation in Bahrain that we got it wrong, now we have that. And that’s why I would never write off anything.

“Is it realistic after today’s performance [in qualifying] that we can talk about the world championship? No, it’s not, you’re a fool if you think that way.”

Matt Majendie in Jeddah

15:32 , Marc Mayo

The sun is just beginning to set in Jeddah. The wind was whipping up a little earlier but appears to have died a little. All sensibilities say that Sergio Perez in the Red Bull ought to win from pole such is the dominance of the RB19.

But then again he and Max Verstappen briefly worried about a double DNF in the latter stages of Bahrain when both their gearboxes were alarmingly overheating.

One suspects reliability issues would be the likeliest way to undone another Red Bull win under the lights later on.

Red Bull change Max Verstappen’s gearbox

15:27 , Marc Mayo

A late change in the Red Bull garage but not one that will impact today’s grid.

Verstappen returns to the gearbox he used last time out in Bahrain.

Qualifying recap

15:22 , Marc Mayo

Sergio Perez eased into pole position yesterday with his biggest rivals already taken out of the picture; Charles Leclerc second-quickest having already been hit by a ten-place grid penalty and Max Verstappen retiring from 15th in Q2.

That means Fernando Alonso rolled up into second and George Russell is third on the grid.

Carlos Sainz is fourth ahead of Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon, who put his Alpine ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Oscar Piastri clocked a very strong eighth on the grid ahead of Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg.

Get to know Jeddah Corniche Circuit

15:16 , Marc Mayo

The second-longest circuit on the F1 calendar, at 3.836 miles, is dubbed the ‘fastest street circuit in the world’.

Located on the Red Sea waterfront in the Saudi city of Jeddah, this is the third F1 race held here with Lewis Hamilton winning here in 2021 before Max Verstappen took last year’s victory.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Local weather update

15:08 , Marc Mayo

Clear skies in Jeddah for this night race with no sign of rain on the radar.

Temperatures right now are at 29°C and will drop slightly as the evening settles in.

Very little wind is forecast for the race, with any gust actually dropping between now and then.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix starting grid

15:04 , Marc Mayo

What happened with Verstappen?

14:51 , Alex Young

Sergio Perez stepped up for Red Bull to ensure the team started from pole at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a mechanical issue sidelined two-time defending world champion Max Verstappen.

Verstappen was fastest in all three practice sessions at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit but his qualifying effort was cut short during the second session. "I have a problem. Engine, engine problem," he told his team. He starts today in P15.

It left Perez as the lone Red Bull representative in the final round of qualifying and he went on to win pole in Jeddah for the second consecutive year — the only two poles of his career.

Charles Leclerc qualified second for Ferrari but will drop 10 positions at the start of Sunday's race because of a grid penalty for exceeding the allotted electronics control unit on the car's engine in the season-opening race.

The penalty to Leclerc pushes Fernando Alonso to the front row for the start after the Spaniard qualified third in his new Aston Martin ride. Alonso finished third in his season-opening debut race with Aston in Bahrain.

George Russell qualified fourth for Mercedes — four spots ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time champion qualified eighth.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

How to watch Saudi Arabian GP

14:38 , Alex Young

TV channel: The whole weekend will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK with coverage of the race starting at 3.30pm GMT on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event. Free highlights are available on Channel 4 at 10.15pm.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also watch the race live via the Sky Go app.


14:29 , Alex Young

Good afternoon and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

It’s been two weeks since the 2023 season-opener in Bahrain, which reigning champion Max Verstappen won in a procession in an ominious sign for the year ahead.

However, the second stop of the year has already thrown up some intrigue in that department after the young Dutchman had to pull out of qualifying and starts today in 15th.

Jeddah is known to be relatively easy to overtake, though, so don’t expect him to stay put for long.

It’s lights out at 5pm GMT, so stick with us.