F1: Verstappen dominates Practice 1 for Saudi Arabian GP

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Late to arrive in Jeddah due to a stomach virus, defending World Driving Champion wasted no time in setting quicker laps after quicker laps and finally ended Practice 1 for the Saudi Arabian GP with a time of 1m29.617s.

Verstappen’s time was 0.483s faster than his Red Bull Honda teammate Sergio Perez and he was the only driver to dip into the 1m29s bracket.

The Aston Martins of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were 3rd and 4th, 0.698s and 0.960s behind respectively.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were 5th and 6th for Mercedes, 1.154s and 1.170s behind respectively.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was the fastest Ferrari, 1.307s back in 7th.

Plenty learned though, which is the main thing. Red Bull still look startlingly quick, and Aston Martin were in impressive form. Mercedes seem to be lagging behind, with Hamilton unhappy with tire wear for starters, while Ferrari did not show their full hand.

Happy with Practice 1. Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing at F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 17, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Practice 1 Results in Jeddah

1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Honda 1m29.617s +0.000s 17
2 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Bull Bull Honda 1m30.100s +0.483s 19
3 Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant 1m30.315s +0.698s 21
4 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant 1m30.577s +0.960s 19
5 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas 1m30.771s +1.154s 25
6 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas 1m30.787s +1.170s 25
7 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1m30.924s +1.307s 22
8 Pierre Gasly FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m30.949s +1.332s 23
9 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing 1m31.030s +1.413s 22
10 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m31.110s +1.493s 24
11 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1m31.118s +1.501s 25
12 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m31.181s +1.564s 21
13 Nyck de Vries NED Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m31.450s +1.833s 28
14 Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m31.491s +1.874s 24
15 Nico Hulkenberg GER MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m31.552s +1.935s 21
16 Kevin Magnussen DEN MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m31.566s +1.949s 22
17 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Racing 1m31.922s +2.305s 25
18 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1m31.970s +2.353s 24
19 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1m31.986s +2.369s 21
20 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m32.149s +2.532s 20