Max second quickest in Saudi FP1
Published on 03 December 2021 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen started his Saudi Arabia Grand Prix weekend with second place in the opening Friday practice session. Lewis Hamilton was quickest round the 6.1 km long Jeddah Corniche Circuit. His Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, completed the top three.
Because it is the first time Formula 1 races in Saudi Arabia, and on this new street circuit, the teams are eager to gain as much track time as possible. Hence, most drivers are out on track in the opening stages of FP1.
Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari is the first to complete a timed lap, but his effort is soon bettered by the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Meanwhile, Max has embarked on his first flying lap. On the hard Pirelli tyres, the Dutchman sets the quickest lap of the session thus far.
Soon after, the lap times tumble even further as the drivers get familiar with the new circuit and its grip levels. Max continues to pound round on the hard compound and keeps bettering his times, meaning he tops the leader boards at the halfway mark.
With 25 minutes on the clock, Max switches, as well as many others, to the soft Pirellis. Once again the lap times drop. Although this time, after the first flurry of fast laps, Max has to concede top spot to Valtteri Bottas.
In the final quarter of the session, Max keeps trying to improve his lap time on used soft tyres. Eventually, on his last attempt, despite traffic, the Dutchman puts down a personal best. It grants him P2, splitting the two Mercedes at the end of the session.
|2||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:29.842||+0.056s||22|
|4||Pierre Gasly||GAS||AlphaTauri Honda||1:30.263||+0.477s||28|
|5||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.318||+0.532s||27|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||RIC||McLaren Mercedes||1:30.608||+0.822s||25|
|9||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Alpine Renault||1:30.842||+1.056s||27|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||VET||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:30.886||+1.100s||25|
|11||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:30.960||+1.174s||27|
|12||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:31.023||+1.237s||28|
|13||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:31.029||+1.243s||23|
|14||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:31.044||+1.258s||25|
|15||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda||1:31.099||+1.313s||26|
|16||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:31.296||+1.510s||26|
|17||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:31.343||+1.557s||28|
|18||Mick Schumacher||MSC||Haas Ferrari||1:31.525||+1.739s||24|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||LAT||Williams Mercedes||1:31.821||+2.035s||27|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||MAZ||Haas Ferrari||1:33.464||+3.678s||23|