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F1 LIVE practice results as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen begin battle

Follow all the latest F1 news and updates as the title races takes another turn at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix where Lewis Hamilton looks to close the eight-point gap to Max Verstappen in Jeddah

Jack Rathborn
Friday 03 December 2021 17:29
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Lewis Hamilton Aims To Be ‘Purest’ F1 Driver

It’s almost here, the penultimate F1 race in the calendar, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Today will provide an insight into how Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen get on at Jeddah’s Corniche Circuit.

It’s practice Friday, as the most exciting Formula 1 season in years nears its finale, with the Red Bull star able to knock off his Mercedes rival as early as this weekend, though everybody expects the seven-time world champion to at least survive until Abu Dhabi, if not take another chunk into the Belgian-Dutch driver’s lead, which currently stands at a slender eight points.

While there will be many thrills and spills left in the Drivers’ Championship, there is sure to be drama, too, in the Constructors’ Championship. This will emphasise the drives of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez, who both have pivotal roles to play in our their teammates negotiate the final two races of the season.

In terms of track dynamic, there will be long straights at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit this weekend, which ought to favour Mercedes as they gun for a one-two finish. But if Hamilton was to win and collect the bonus point for fastest lap, with Verstappen finishing second, it would create the extraordinary scenario of both drivers having 269.5 points going into the final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.

Wolff and his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner have been involved in back-and-forth encounters too, drawing amusement from some and disdain from others, as the fight goes on for the constructor championship as well as the drivers’ title. Elsewhere outside the big two, Fernando Alonso’s podium finish, the changing team line-ups for next year and even the additions of rules such as sprint qualifying have all been big talking points in Formula One recently.

Here’s all the latest F1 news and reaction as the build-up to Saudi Arabia continues:

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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Practice

Lewis Hamilton came in below the 1.30 mark, posting 1:29.786, usurping Max Verstappen, who had dominated practice to that point.

Valtteri Bottas was second but Verstappen snatched second place late, squeezing inside the Finn and just 0.056s behind his title rival.

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:56
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Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:45
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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Practice

So, without much surprise we have Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen in the top three - in that order.

A notable performance so far from Antonio Giovinazzi as the Italian rises up to fifth in his Alfa Romeo in 1:30.318.

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:24
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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Practice

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:22
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Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:20
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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Practice: Lewis Hamilton quickest

Lewis Hamilton now quickest, that’s a 1:29.786 with a new set of new soft tyres, chapeau!

And all of a sudden, the Mercedes stack up a one-two with Valtteri Bottas second and Carlos Sainz and the Ferrari slot into third with 1:30.564.

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:19
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Max Verstappen downplays Lewis Hamilton’s extra experience in title fight

Max Verstappen admits seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is “better prepared” for a title fight but does not believe the extra experience gives his rival the upper hand with two races remaining.

While Hamilton seeks a record eighth drivers’ crown, Verstappen is looking to claim his first title after a fine season with Red Bull.

The Dutchman sits eight points clear at the top of the standings but heads into this weekend’s F1 debut in Saudi Arabia on the back foot, with Hamilton winning the last two races in Brazil and Qatar.

Hamilton, 36, claimed his first title back in 2008 and has racked up a further six in the past seven seasons as both he and Mercedes have dominated the sport.

“I think it’s natural of course that when you are in this stage of your career you are better prepared than what you were in your first or second, when Lewis was fighting for his first title,” said the 24-year-old Verstappen.

“I think it’s a natural progression and it’s very normal. I also feel much better prepared and more experienced than when I first came into Formula One.

“No, I don’t think that makes a big difference, because otherwise it would have shown already throughout the season.”

Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen gestures during press conference ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:15
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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Practice: Lewis Hamilton just behind Max Verstappen

As expected, here’s Lewis Hamilton, finally negotiating this Saudi track and replicate his title rival’s smooth transition in Jeddah.

It’s close, but Hamilton’s 1:30.678 can only lift him up to second place.

Max Verstappen remains quickest so far.

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:12
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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Practice

Max Verstappen making a statement here, that’s a blinding lap in 1:30.014.

The Belgian-Dutchman goes for a little ride up one of the raised kerbs to produce sparks, but he’s enjoying these hard tyres.

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:09
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Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT02 Honda during practice

Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen during practice

Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen during practice

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 14:05

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