Follow the latest updates from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Sergio Pérez starts from pole for the first time in his F1 career. The Mexican made an impeccable lap through the narrow streets of Jeddah in Q3 to position himself at the front of the grid, where he will have in his mirrors the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz starting second and third.
Pérez’s teammate Max Verstappen starts fourth, with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in a very creditable fifth and Mercedes’ George Russell sixth. Lewis Hamilton starts the race in 15th place after a disastrous qualifying that saw him struggle and go out in Q1.
Meanwhile, a Saudi Arabian GP steward has been sacked after saying on Twitter that he hoped seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton suffered an accident similar to Romain Grosjean’s fiery crash in Bahrain in 2020, he would no longer be participating in the finish. race week in Jeddah.
Mick Schumacher suffered a high-speed accident during qualifying and was airlifted to hospital, and the 23-year-old will not take part despite receiving a positive assessment after medical checks. Follow the latest updates from Saudi Arabia below.
Gasly overwhelmed by Magnussen and Norris
LAP 2/50: It’s a tough start for Pierre Gasly, who has lost two places in just over a lap of racing, with Kevin Magnussen making excellent high-speed overtaking on the straights with a narrow gap between him and the wall, before Norris is patient around the outside of Turn 1 to pass the Frenchman and take the 10th sport.
The Alpha Tauri is now being fielded by Lance Stroll who is down to 11.
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 18:07
Verstappen overtakes Sainz at Turn 1
LAP 1/50: It’s an excellent start for Red Bull, who have held the lead and seen Max Verstappen overtake Carlos Sainz on the outside of Turn 2.
The Ferraris had started to fight and that left Sainz slow going into Turn 1, with room for Verstappen on the inside and finding traction coming out of the next corner to make the most of it.
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 18:06
The lights go out in Saudi Arabia and Pérez maintains the lead!
LAP 1/50: The lights go out in Saudi Arabia and the race is on!
Sergio Pérez has safely navigated Turn 1 and leads Charles Leclerc in second and Max Verstappen in third.
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 18:04
The cars are on the formation lap in Saudi Arabia
The 18 cars entering tonight’s race are now on the formation lap, taking a slow run around the circuit as all the mechanics and media personnel leave the grid.
We are just a couple of minutes from the start of the race, with Sergio Pérez leading the field from the front for the first time in his 216-race career. Yuki Tsunoda is absent after his engine died en route to the grid, while Mick Schumacher is also absent after his accident in qualifying yesterday.
Can he hold his own under pressure from both Ferraris at Turn 1? We are about to find out…
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 18:01
Horner prioritizes ‘clean running’ for Red Bull
Sergio Pérez starts ahead of Max Verstappen for Red Bull for the second time since they became team-mates at the start of 2021, with team principal Christian Horner saying his priority is for both drivers to complete a clean race.
“Checo did an amazing lap yesterday, the lap of his life,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “Hopefully we have a good car for the race. We don’t really know what Ferrari’s race pace is. We’ve got a really good straight line speed finish, we’ve trimmed the car down a bit and maybe we could be a little bit lighter on the tyres. The most important thing is a clean race.”
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 17:53
Magnussen hoping to get through the race with his neck muscles intact
Kevin Magnussen says he is looking forward to competing in the Saudi Grand Prix for the first time and hopes his neck muscles can handle the pressure of the Jeddah circuit.
The 29-year-old returns to F1 after a year and spoke about the neck pain he suffered in qualifying yesterday.
“It’s a new track for me, and not one of the easier tracks, so I’m really happy to do this race,” Magnussen told Sky Sports F1. “[Physically] I’ll try to get through it the best I can. I’m very happy mick [Schumacher] okay, that’s the first thing and everything else is not important.”
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 17:49
Verstappen expects no favors from Pérez
Max Verstappen starts fourth in Saudi Arabia tonight but is not expecting any favors from team-mate Sergio Perez, who starts from pole.
The Ferrari pairing of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz separates the two Red Bulls at the start, but the world champion does not expect the Mexican to hold the Scuderia up to help him carry on.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We have a good battle on our hands with the Ferraris. We have good straight line speed and they are strong in the corners, so let’s see what works best. It’s not about Checo doing a job [by holding the Ferraris up for me]It’s about scoring as many points as possible.”
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 17:46
Leclerc hopes for a “clean race” in Jeddah
Charles Leclerc says he expects a “clean race” around Jeddah tonight.
The Monegasque took victory in the season opener in Bahrain last weekend and will line up second on the grid behind polesitter Sergio Pérez in Jeddah.
“Hopefully it’s a good race!” he told Sky Sports. “The race pace seemed pretty strong. [in free practice], we are in the mix and there were no real problems. We need to have a clean race, which is very difficult on a track like this.”
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 17:43
Tsunoda officially ruled out of the race
Alpha Tauri team principal Franz Tost says Yuki Tsunoda is out of the Saudi Grand Prix due to an engine problem that caused him to lose power en route to the grid.
“I still don’t know exactly what happened, but it looks like there’s something in the drive train and we have to stop,” Tost explained. “He will not run.”
With Mick Schumacher also absent after his qualifying accident yesterday, only 18 drivers will take part in the race.
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 17:38
Sainz heading to the grid with the car problem solved
Whatever the problem with Carlos Sainz’s car, it seems to have been resolved, as the Spaniard has left the garage and heads to the grid. Apparently the wiring loom was the cause for concern, but after 40 minutes of work the car is ready to go.
Ferrari has a great opportunity to put pressure on polesitter Sergio Pérez with both of his cars behind him. Pérez has not started a race from the front since his GP2 days in 2010.
Daniel Austin27 March 2022 17:29