Jeddah, FP1: Leclerc tops first free practice session for Saudi Arabian GP
Verstappen 2nd, Bottas 3rd
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|