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

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·19-min read
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: F1 result as Hamilton claims pole after Verstappen hits wall
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Lewis Hamilton claimed a dramatic pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and Mercedes secured a one-two after Max Verstappen crashed on his final lap of qualifying. With Hamilton on provisional pole, Verstappen was pushing hard and was ahead of his title rival’s time when he put his car into the wall on the final corner of his lap at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

It meant Verstappen was unable to improve upon his time and the Dutchman will start Sunday’s race behind both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, although Red Bull will also have to fix his car ahead of tomorrow’s race. Hamilton, who is eight points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ standings ahead of the penultimate race of the race, earlier escaped a grid penalty after he was summoned to the stewards for two separate incidents during the final practice session. Follow all the results and reaction from qualifying LIVE below:

Read More

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying live stream: How to watch Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen go for pole

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 claims pole after Verstappen puts his car into the wall

Horner slams F1 ‘inconsistency’ after Hamilton escapes penalty

20:30 , Jamie Braidwood

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has called for “consistency” as Lewis Hamilton escaped a grid penalty after being summoned to the stewards for two separate incidents at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton will start on pole position for Sunday’s race after Max Verstappen hit the wall on the final lap of a dramatic qualifying session.

And there was further drama earlier in the day as Hamilton was called to the stewards one hour before the start of qualifying in Jeddah after allegedly failing to respect double-waved yellow flags and impeding Nikita Mazepin.

“We’ll have a good look at it,” Horner told Sky Sports when asked whether Red Bull would appeal the FIA’s ruling on the two incidents in practice.

“It feels a little inconsistent from what we’ve seen two weeks ago. We’ve got the right to an appeal and we will have a look at the information. We haven’t looked at it that closely yet.”

Christian Horner slams F1 ‘inconsistency’ after Lewis Hamilton escapes grid penalty

Max Verstappen reacts to ‘terrible’ qualifying crash that cost pole

20:15 , Jamie Braidwood

Max Verstappen has explained the “terrible” moment that cost him pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when he crashed into the wall on the final lap of qualifying in another dramatic moment in the F1 title race.

With Lewis Hamilton on provisional pole for the penultimate race of the season, Verstappen was clocking faster than his title rival heading into the final corner at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Verstappen was pushing hard on what was a magnificent lap from the Red Bull driver but he locked up heading into the final turn and collided with the wall.

It meant the Dutchman was unable to improve upon his qualifying time and he will therefore start behind title rival Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after Mercedes locked out the front row.

Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton heading into tomorrow’s race but the 24-year-old could be dealt a further blow if Red Bull are forced into replacing his gearbox as a result of the Q3 crash.

“It’s of course terrible,” Verstappen said. “I knew the pace was there and it showed in the last lap.”

‘It’s terrible’: Max Verstappen explains crash that cost Saudi Arabian GP pole

Lewis Hamilton clinches Saudi Arabia pole as Max Verstappen crashes out in Q3

20:00 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton ended an eventful Saturday at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a pole position and a slap on the wrist as title rival Max Verstappen sensationally crashed out on the final corner of qualifying.

Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship by just eight points with two races remaining and Hamilton has the upper hand here at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Having won the previous two rounds of a scintillating season, Hamilton came here with plenty of momentum, but he had to survive two penalty scares in final practice before sealing an important pole on a track where overtaking could be at a premium.

Full report:

Lewis Hamilton clinches Saudi Arabia pole as Max Verstappen crashes out in Q3

Hamilton on pole for Saudi Arabian GP

19:34 , Jamie Braidwood

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, speaking to Sky Sports:

“[Verstappen] was up by half a second and pole was basically gone. Then he ran wide and hit the wall and we end up one and two, which is a big, big, advantage ahead of tomorrow. It’s just crazy.

“That’s exactly what we thought [that Red Bull were going to take pole]. It was important to keep it together and keep attacking. You see with Valtteri with his lap, that is a big difference to be there with the front-row lockout.

“I hope we can take it into tomorrow. I think they [Red Bull] concentrated on preparing for a one-lap. If we have a tiny bit of advantage tomorrow, who knows.

“This is a fight on all levels on the track and off the track.”

Hamilton on pole for Saudi Arabian GP

19:07 , Jamie Braidwood

Lewis Hamilton was full of praise for departing teammate Valtteri Bottas after Mercedes secured a one-two in qualifying.

““This is a great result. This (a one-two) was the goal, we worked so hard through simulation.

“He (Valtteri) is the best team-mate there’s ever been in this sport. We have worked together to work on the set-up and get the car to where it needs to be.”

“That Bull around this track is something else, but given where we are I am grateful for what we have.”

Hamilton on pole for Saudi Arabian GP

18:54 , Jamie Braidwood

Max Verstappen has explained the “terrible” moment that cost him pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when he crashed into the wall on the final lap of qualifying in another dramatic moment in the F1 title race.

With Lewis Hamilton on provisional pole for the penultimate race of the season, Verstappen was clocking faster than his title rival heading into the final corner at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Verstappen was pushing hard on what was a magnificent lap from the Red Bull driver but he locked up heading into the final turn and collided with the wall.

‘It’s terrible’: Max Verstappen explains crash that cost Saudi Arabian GP pole

Hamilton on pole for Saudi Arabian GP

18:35 , Jamie Braidwood

Horner: “It’s going to be very hard to overtake here so it’s going to be strategy, safety cars, reliability. We’ll see. Grid position in any street circuit is crucial.

“We’ll have a good look at it. It feels a little inconsistent from what we’ve seen two weeks ago. We’ve got the right to an appeal and we will have a look at the information and we haven’t looked at it that closely yet.

“These decisions are so late so we’ll have a look. The one thing that we desperately want is consistency. The problem is if we appeal it’s the same stewards.”

Hamilton on pole for Saudi Arabian GP

18:31 , Jamie Braidwood

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, speaking to Sky Sports: “Max was on course for the lap of the season. It’s a great shame. He just grabbed the front going into the final corner. We could see on his dash that he was four-tenths up going into the corner and unfortunately he’s run out of road. It’s pretty brutal but let’s hope the gear box isn’t damaged.

“Max will be frustrated. He knows what a good lap it was. He just needs to put it behind him now. He’s still P3 on the grid. He needs a good start and anything can happen in this race. It’s a great shame because it was a mighty, mighty lap. We’ll get the car back and hopefully it’s not a gearbox penalty because that would be especially brutal.”

Hamilton on pole for Saudi Arabian GP

18:13 , Jamie Braidwood

Max Verstappen: “It’s of course terrible. I knew the pace was there and it showed in the last lap. I don’t know what happened but I locked up and I clipped the rear - so I had to stop. P3 is a bit disappointing knowing the lap I was on but it shows that the car is quick. Let’s see where we can do in the race.”

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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