Lewis Hamilton Dominates Friday Practice For 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

(Image credit: @MercedesAMGF1)

Lewis Hamilton dominated Friday Practice in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as Formula One got their first taste of a new circuit in preparation for 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton made a steady start to both sessions but found time throughout both sessions to emerge fastest in FP1 then FP2, albeit by less than a tenth of a second from Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas respectively.

Behind the frontrunners, there was an almighty scrap for the ‘best of the rest’ title with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly looking the man to beat in midfield, although the one-time race winner did finish third in FP2 in a surprise result.

Now here is a full roundup of Friday’s Practice sessions in Jeddah as F1 got to grips with a new venue for the second consecutive race.



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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was the first driver to venture out on track but it was championship leader – Verstappen who quickly set the pace on hard tyres with 1m 33.614 as drivers opted for a mixture of all three compounds for their lengthy opening runs.

Verstappen eventually found 3.600 seconds across further laps in his opening stint to sit top at the halfway mark from Hamilton by 0.664s as Valtteri Bottas sat third.

Attention soon switched to soft tyre qualifying simulations where Hamilton emerged fastest with a session-topping 1m 29.786 on his first flier, as Bottas went second quickest after Verstappen failed to improve on his best timed lap.

Red Bull however sent Verstappen back out at the end on another set of softs and the Dutchman was able to improve to second, just 0.056s off Hamilton as Bottas rounded out the top three ahead of Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi in a session of no incidents.

Elsewhere, both Alpine drivers of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon finished ninth and 12th quickest after setting their quickest times on the hard tyre.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m 29.786
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.056
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.223
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 0.477
5 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 0.532
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.778
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.814
8 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 0.822
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 1.056
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.100
11 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 1.174
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 1.237
13 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.243
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 1.258
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 1.313
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.510
17 George Russell Williams + 1.557
18 Mick Schumacher Haas + 1.739
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.035
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas + 3.678



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Sainz again was the first driver out on track at the start of the session under the lights but it was Ocon who set the initial benchmark time of 1m 31.223.

Lando Norris soon bettered the Frenchman’s time with 1m 30.773 but was then displaced himself by Verstappen, who posted 1m 30.104 on medium tyres to go 0.669s quicker at the summit.

Verstappen soon lowered his lap times to 1m 29.290 although Hamilton eventually bettered his time on the same tyre compound to top the session with 1m 29.014 ahead of Bottas as the Mercedes duo both failed to improve on their soft tyre qualifying simulation.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly meanwhile surprisingly went for a high fuel soft tyre Qualifying simulation which paid off as he finished third and highest out of those who set their best lap times on the soft tyre ahead of Verstappen and Alonso who rounded out the top five

Race simulations grinded to an unexpected halt five minutes early after Charles Leclerc lost the rear of his Ferrari into Turn 12 and slid heavily into the outside barriers to bring out the red flag.

Finally, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo finished eighth and 11th after setting their fastest lap times on the hard tyres, whilst Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi finished 15th and 19th respectively after setting their quickest laps on the medium tyre.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m 29.0
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.061
3 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 0.081
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.195
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 0.423
6 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 0.537
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.571
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 0.579
9 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.750
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.754
11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 0.950
12 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.986
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.092
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.258
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 1.424
16 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.484
17 George Russell Williams + 1.488
18 Mick Schumacher Haas + 1.634
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.021
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas + 2.611

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