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
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:


Red Bull hint at engine change for Max Verstappen as F1 season reaches final two races

An engine change and grid penalty are not off the cards for Max Verstappen before the Formula 1 season is up, according to Red Bull.

The Dutchman leads defending champion Lewis Hamilton by eight points with two races left this season, with the Briton having served two engine-related grid penalties this year, while Verstappen is still on his third engine – the permitted amount.

But, with Hamilton closing in, the 24-year-old might be forced to change engines before the year is over, receiving a five-place grid penalty if he is to do so.

Red Bull hint at engine change for Max Verstappen

The Dutchman leads defending champion Lewis Hamilton by eight points with two races left this year

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 12:15

Max Verstappen primed for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 12:11

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix practice schedule

1pm - F1 Practice One Live (session starts 1.30pm)

3.15pm - F2 Qualifying Live

4.45pm - F1 Practice Two Live (session starts 5pm)

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 12:00

Bernie Ecclestone questions whether Lewis Hamilton’s ‘luck will run out’ in F1 title race

Former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton’s luck may have ‘run out’ heading into the final two races of the season.

The 36-year-old Brit, who is trying to win a record-breaking eighth title, has won the last two Grands Prix in Brazil and Qatar to reduce the gap between himself and Max Verstappen to just eight points.

But Ecclestone, who also feels a new world champion could be good for the sport, questions whether Hamilton’s good fortune may be about to come to an end.

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 11:57

Bernie Ecclestone ‘surprised’ Lewis Hamilton wants to beat Michael Schumacher title record

Bernie Ecclestone admits he is “surprised” that Lewis Hamilton has not retired out of respect for Michael Schumacher’s record tally of Formula 1 world titles.

The Mercedes driver is battling with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for this season’s title, which would elevate the Briton above the legendary German to eight titles.

And the former F1 supremo maintains such a feat would not instantly confirm his status as the greatest driver in the sport’s history.

“No, not at all,” Ecclestone told RTL when discussing whether Hamilton would be remembered as the greatest if he secured the record for most world titles by himself.

“In fact, I’m surprised Lewis didn’t say at the beginning of the year, ‘I’m stepping down, I don’t want to win more races or World Championships than Michael’.”

Bernie Ecclestone ‘surprised’ Lewis Hamilton wants to beat Michael Schumacher record

The Mercedes driver can surpass the legendary German to eight F1 world titles if he beats out Max Verstappen this season

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 11:29

Charles Leclerc analyses Ferrari’s hopes for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

“On paper it looks like it’s not going to be one of our best tracks because obviously very long straights and a very high-speed track, but on the other hand it’s a city track so anything can happen,” Charles Leclerc said of Ferrari’s hopes in Jeddah.

“Hopefully as drivers we can make the difference and yes, I am just really looking forward to tomorrow to try this track for the first time.”

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 11:12

Carlos Sainz on Ferrari battle with McLaren for P3

“We need to outscore them by four or five points, I think, this weekend, which, looking at recent results might seem like a likely scenario. But we need to remind ourselves that McLaren have been in the fight in every race that we’ve outscored them,” Carlos Sainz says when discussing Ferrari’s battle with McLaren to claim P3 - the Scuderia are 39.5 points and need five more points than their rivals to wrap up bronze on the F1 season.

“It’s not like we were on an easy route to outscore them before their trouble in the last three races, so it’s been really tight still; we’ve just managed to make less mistakes, put everything together with both cars and outscore them.

“But I feel like here they might have the faster car and they will bring the fight down to Abu Dhabi, probably.”

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 11:03

Lando Norris: ‘No more Mr Nice Guy!’

“We’re still at the point with George and myself and Alex and Charles [where] there’s a lot of compliments and we get along and we chat,” Lando Norris said. “But things always change when you become competitive against each other.

“We’re still in a friendly phase because we never raced each other.

“But if all of sudden we go into next year and in the middle of the championship it’s me and Max and Lewis, I don’t think there will be as much Mr Nice Guy. That’s just the way it works.”

Lando Norris walks in the paddock during previews ahead of F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 10:51

Mercedes F1 urged to rethink deal with insulation firm linked to Grenfell Tower fire

Mercedes F1 have been urged to rethink deal with insulation firm linked to Grenfell Tower fire.

The F1 team have penned a deal with Kingspan, who made some of the insulation used in the cladding of the building.

And the deal has been described as “truly shocking” by Grenfell survivors.

Michael Gove said he was “deeply disappointed”, though Kingspan said it played no role in the design of the cladding.

“This news has shattered us,” a statement from Grenfell United, a group of survivors and bereaved families from the fire, said.

The group also urged Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, led by Lewis Hamilton, “to immediately sever your relationship” with the company.

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 10:33

Toto Wolff confirms Lewis Hamilton will have ‘spicy’ engine again at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

“Saudi should be a good track for us but we know that this year when you think it is a good one, it can turn the other way around,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

“But there is a long straight, we will get our spicy equipment, engine, out for Saudi Arabia that we didn’t use [in Qatar] and hopefully Valtteri is right up there.

“We need him but, in any case, if everybody finishes the race it is going to go to Abu Dhabi.”

Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner at the Grand Prix of Qatar

Jack Rathborn3 December 2021 10:00

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in