FP1: Late improvement sees Leclerc top first Saudi practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Saudi Arabia, Jeddah Street Circuitsa

Though times in FP1 are generally not representative at all, Charles Leclerc topped Max Verstappen in the dying minutes of the 60-minute practice session at Jeddah. Vallteri Bottas emerged third fastest.

Leclerc was on his way to yet another faster lap until he had to back out in the second sector with some snap oversteer in a high speed right hander. With that late lap on softs, he topped Verstappen's early benchmark on hard tyres.

Bottas also set his fastest lap late in the session, jumping up from 12th to 3rd on the timesheet. Sainz was right behind, followed by both AlphaTauris which both seemed to perform very well out of the box.

Perez was 7th fastest, followed by Ocon, Hamilton and Alonso. The latter three were however already more than a second down on the pace setting Ferrari.

Overall it was a straightforward session with no stoppages. At least not on track, as Kevin Magnussen didn't even manage to get a timed lap on the board as it soon emerged there was a problem with his Haas car. Once back in the pits the team soon discovered a hydraulics problem that would sideline the Dane for the remainder of the session.

All other drivers did around 20 laps apart from Sainz who didn't get further than 14, mostly towards the end of the session. The Spaniard suffered from serious porpoising on his Ferrari, certainly to the extent it isn't really possible to keep this up for an entire Grand Prix. Other teams seemed to suffer less from this issue.

One other event saw Hamilton clip the wall on the way into Turn 1. Trying to go as far right as possible, the Mercedes driver took it slightly too far and rubbed the Pirelli markings off the right-hand side tyres.


116Charles LeclercFerrari1:30.77216
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:30.888+0.116s23
377Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:31.084+0.312s21
455Carlos SainzFerrari1:31.139+0.367s13
510Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:31.317+0.545s27
622Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:31.505+0.733s25
711Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:31.563+0.791s24
831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:32.026+1.254s25
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:32.364+1.592s19
1014Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:32.381+1.609s22
113Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:32.506+1.734s23
1218Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:32.582+1.810s22
134Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:32.594+1.822s23
1424Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:32.608+1.836s25
1563George RussellMercedes1:32.839+2.067s18
1627Nico HulkenbergAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:33.034+2.262s22
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:33.087+2.315s24
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:33.529+2.757s25
1947Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:34.429+3.657s21
2020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari2