Jeddah, FP1: Leclerc tops first free practice session for Saudi Arabian GP

Verstappen 2nd, Bottas 3rd

By Franck Drui

25 March 2022 - 16:07
Jeddah, FP1: Leclerc tops first (...)

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc beat Max Verstappen to go quickest in the opening free practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Saudia Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.

World champion Max Verstappen was quickest in the early running, with the field split across hard and medium tyres, with the Red Bull driver posting a lap of 1:30.888 as the opening 15-minutes ended.

The session was then red-flagged when the 50m brake marker board for the first corner came loose. It was clipped by McLaren’s Lando Norris and with debris strewn across the street track race control halted running.

After a 10-minute delay the action began again and for the first time in the session Ferrari sent it’s drivers our on track with both championship leader Charles Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz on hard compound Pirelli tyres. Leclerc ground out a series of personal best times across a long opening run on the most drurable compound and with 20 minutes left in the session he was 0.582s donw on Verstappen’s early benchmark.

Verstappen then moved to soft tyres, but he abandoned his run after he cut across Turn 10 having lost the rear of his RB18. He retreated to the Red Bull garage but emerged once again for another attempt on softs but he did not improve on his lap on hard tyres.

The Ferraris took to the track on softs for the final five minutes and Leclerc jumped tyo the top of the order with a lap of 1:30.772.

With Verstappen second, third place went to Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas. Sainz ended up fourth, 0.367s behind his Leclerc, while AlphaTauri pair Gasly and Tsunoda finished fifth and sixth respectively.

Sergio Pérez was seventh for Red Bull ahead of Alpine’s Estebvan Ocon, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ninth ahead of the second Alpine of Fernando Alonso.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:30.772 17
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:30.888 24
03 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:31.084 22
04 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:31.139 14
05 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:31.317 27
06 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:31.505 26
07 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:31.563 25
08 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:32.026 26
09 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:32.364 20
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:32.381 23
11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:32.506 24
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:32.582 23
13 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:32.594 24
14 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:32.608 26
15 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:32.839 19
16 Nico Hülkenberg Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:33.034 23
17 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:33.087 25
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:33.529 26
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:34.429 22
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 -:—.--- 2


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