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F1 practice LIVE: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix lap time results as Charles Leclerc edges Max Verstappen

Follow all the latest from Jeddah as Charles Leclerc topped Friday practice ahead of Max Verstappen while Mercedes struggled

Michael Jones
Friday 25 March 2022 19:04
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F1 races 2022: Take a virtual lap ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix

Formula One bosses have said Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead despite an attack on a nearby fuel depot during practice. Black smoke billowed across the Jeddah circuit as seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and his fellow drivers took part in the first action of the weekend.

World champion Max Verstappen reported to his Red Bull team over the radio that he could detect the smoke. “I smell a bit of a burning feeling,” he said. “I am not sure if it is my car, or another car.”

The al-Masirah satellite news channel run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed they had attacked an Aramco facility in Jeddah. The same fuel depot, 12 miles to the east of the track, was attacked on Sunday. Shortly after the summit, race organisers said the grand prix - only the second to be staged in Saudi Arabia - will go ahead as scheduled.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was quickest across Friday’s practice ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, while Mercedes appeared to struggle for pace throughout the day.

Follow all the F1 news and updates from practice ahead of the Saudi GP below:

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Russell up to fifth

Mercedes’ George Russell puts in his best lap of the day and moves into fifth place (+0.450) off the leader Max Verstappen.

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:42
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Verstappen goes fastest!

Max Verstappen takes the top time away from Charles Leclerc, by the smallest of margins after a lap of 1:30.214. It’s 0.002s faster than the Ferrari.

Meanwhile, the other Red Bull or Sergio Perez has improved to leave the top four separated by just 0.146s. It’s very tight at the top.

Just under 40 minutes to go.

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:36
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Changes for Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has pulled into the pits and his seat is being swapped out. The Mercedes cars are currently P11 and P12 as they look to solve a few of their bigger issues including ‘porpoising’.

Sergio Perez (+0.901) is now up to P4. Both Red Bulls trail the two Ferrari cars.

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:31
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Verstappen up to third

All the cars are out ther now and Max Verstappen (+1.074) has moved into third behind both Ferraris.

Ferrari and Mercedes appear to be suffering severe porpoising problems but Red Bull are making their way up the straights with considerably less bouncing.

“They have figured something out with that car that allows them to run low,” says Anthony Davidson on commentary,

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:27
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No sign of Red Bull

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are the only two drivers not on the track. Charles Leclerc has already beaten his time from earlier in the day with a 1:30.216.

His teammate Carlos Sainz (+1.166) is going well too. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (+2.028) is complaining about the bounce in his car. He’s currently in sixth place.

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:22
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We’re underway!

Another hour of practice to go in Jeddah then. Charles Leclerc put in the fastest lap of the first practice session. Will the Ferrari driver do the same this evening?

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:17
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The drivers’ meeting

The meeting between the drivers and team principals saw F1 president Stefano Domenicali give a brief overview on the situation regarding the nearby fire.

Some journalists in the paddock are reporting that several drivers have been left unsure over continuing with the race weekend and it remains to be seen if they will all take to the track for P2.

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:14
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Magnussen back on track

Kevin Magnussen only managed two laps during FP1 after his car had issues with its hydraulics. He is the one of the drivers who did not to take part in this race last season and needs time behind the wheel to learn the track and his car.

It’s a big hour coming up for him.

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:07
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FP2 delayed

There’s been a delay of 15 minutes to make time for the meeting between the drivers and team principals about the explosion at the oil refinery.

There are no new updates as to what has happened there but the at the circuit free practice 2 starts at 5:15pm.

Michael Jones25 March 2022 17:03
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F1 practice: Session two

This is how things finished in the earlier practice sessions. The drivers meeting has finished and FP2 will get underway shortly.

  1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)1:30.772
  2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.116
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +0.312
  4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.367
  5. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +0.545
  6. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) +0.733
  7. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.791
  8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +1.254
  9. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.592
  10. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.609
  11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +1.734
  12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +1.810
  13. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.822
  14. Guanyu Zhou (Alf Romeo) +1.836
  15. George Russell (Mercedes) +2.067
  16. Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) +2.262
  17. Alexander Albon (Williams) +2.315
  18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)+2.757
  19. Mick Schumacher (Haas) +3.657
  20. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) No time
Michael Jones25 March 2022 16:59

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