Live: F1 Saudi Arabian GP commentary and updates

Minute-by-minute updates for the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah.

Live: F1 Saudi Arabian GP commentary and updates

The Saudi Arabian GP follows on from a dramatic season-opener in Bahrain, where Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari 1-2 from team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr as Red Bull suffered a double retirement when both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez suffered a vacuum issue within its fuel system.

The Saudi Arabian race has already been a dramatic weekend both on and off the track, with a missile attack on a nearby oil facility creating serious talks about the race being boycotted by the drivers on Friday night. After gaining sufficient assurances from the Saudi Arabian security officials, the race weekend has continued with Red Bull’s Perez taking his maiden F1 pole position.

Mick Schumacher will miss the Saudi Arabian GP after a heavy crash in qualifying which has damaged his Haas F1 car.  Sebastian Vettel is also missing for Aston Martin due to COVID-19, with Nico Hulkenberg continuing in his role as super-sub.

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb, Megan White

Summary

  • Max Verstappen wins the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after fierce battle with Charles Leclerc
  • Closest winning margin since Italian Grand Prix 2020 - 0.425s 
  • Sainz finishes third for Ferrari double podium with Perez fourth
  • Ricciardo and Alonso both suffered mechanical failures, ending their races, while Bottas retired for Alfa Romeo
  • Latifi crashes out at Turn 27

Leaderboard

  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Russell, Mercedes
  6. Ocon, Alpine
  7. Norris, McLaren
  8. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  9. Magnussen, Haas
  10. Hamilton, Mercedes
Status: Stopped
And that's all from us! Thanks so much for joining us this evening - we'll be back in a couple of weeks for the Australian GP! See you then.

Here's the report from a thrilling battle for victory in Saudi Arabia: 

https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-saudi-arabian-gp-race-report/9375452/

F1 hasn't visited Albert Park since, you know, the last time. Where all the stuff happened. Let's hope that, when F1 returns to Australia, none of that happens again.
 
We're only two races in, but it looks as though the Leclerc and Verstappen battle is hotting up as our main title fight - can battle be joined by Sainz, Perez, or perhaps a third party? Australia's next up in two weeks' time - for the first time since 2019.
Replay of a thumbs-up from Leclerc to Verstappen at the finish - it looks like the two really enjoyed that fight. Sainz joins them on the podium, albeit awaiting whatever call's made on the yellow flags.
"Lap 49 and 50: double yellow under investigation" - is the FIA now investigating itself?
Now, we've got investigations for Magnussen, Sainz and Perez for apparently failing to slow properly for yellow flags.
 
Zhou misses out on points in 11th, beating the two Aston Martins home. Just 13 finishers in this race.
Gasly gets eighth place, Magnussen takes ninth, and Hamilton rescues a point in 10th place.
What a battle! Sainz finishes third, Perez fourth, Russell fifth, and Ocon JUST holds off from Norris for sixth place!
Half a second! Max Verstappen wins the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, half a second ahead of Charles Leclerc!
Leclerc has DRS as the final lap begins, but he's too far behind to make the move. He's running out of chances to get the lead back from Verstappen...
Stroll vs Albon will be investigated by the stewards after the race. Stroll has damage and has dropped to 13th and last place.
Stroll and Albon have come together at Turn 1 which caused those yellow flags. Albon sticks it up the inside but the door gets shut and the pair clash. Albon has pulled to the side of the track and won't finish the race.
At the worst moment, there's a yellow flag at Turn 1, which meant Leclerc didn't have DRS! Verstappen was just half a second up the road, so hangs on to the lead.
Does Leclerc have anything in his locker in this final three laps? He's not letting this go...
Unless something wild happens, there won't be enough laps left for Magnussen and Hamilton to climb any higher than ninth and 10th respectively.
And with free air, Verstappen punches in a 1m31.779s - four tenths faster than Leclerc - to cement a very handy advantage.
And the lead is Verstappen's! He tees up the move perfectly into Turn 27 and sits right behind the Ferrari, drafting past Leclerc and takes the lead with four laps remaining!
Leclerc has a slight snap of understeer into Turn 27, Verstappen gets a very good run with DRS, but Leclerc hangs on - albeit under a LOT of pressure.
Stroll can't keep Hamilton back, who is now up to 10th place and chasing after Magnussen again.
Strong defending from Stroll on the inside at Turn 2 to close the door on Hamilton. Can he hold him back for another five laps to keep the final points position?
"Keep your head down, let us do our work here," Gianpiero Lambiase tells Verstappen, who's getting hot under the collar.
Magnussen makes quick work of passing Stroll to take ninth on his fresh mediums, as Hamilton does the same to Albon to take 11th place. Those two will be on an almighty charge up the order over the final six laps.
Leclerc AND Verstappen both get on the anchors for Turn 27, neither wanting to be ahead for the DRS zone! Leclerc gets on the throttle sooner and goes for it, holding the lead still! Great tactics at play.
Verstappen gets the move done ahead of Turn 27, and takes the lead! Leclerc will have DRS, can he get him back? He does, diving past into Turn 1!
Magnussen has got ahead of Albon to claim 10th place, Hamilton is right behind the pair of them in 12th.
Verstappen's right on Leclerc's tail now, he has a good run into Turn 1 but Leclerc manages to hold on! The Ferrari hasn't seemed to have fired up its tyres!
Hamilton duly pits, binning off his hard tyres for fresh mediums. That'll be a long drop down the order for the Mercedes driver, who comes out behind Magnussen.
Alonso's Alpine has been pushed behind the barriers at pit entry. Just 14 cars left in this race.
The track is clear - and we're racing once more.
Ricciardo's McLaren is pushed into the pitlane by the marshals, who now rush back to retrieve Alonso's Alpine which stopped in the same part of the track.
It is too late for Hamilton, who missed the time to pit before the pitlane was closed.
The pitlane entry is now closed - was that the case when Magnussen and Hulkenberg came in?
Magnussen and Hulkenberg pit with a safety car period threatening due to Ricciardo and Alonso stopped on track.
Ricciardo has stopped at pit entry and he reports "no power" to make it into the pits. And now Bottas has retired from the race! It is all going on!
Alonso's dash says 'cool the car' and he is limping around the track at 70mph. And now Ricciardo has come to a crawl!
Alonso has an issue! He gets overtaken by Magnussen at Turn 1 and is slow coming out of Turn 2.