Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Saudi Arabian GP updates – FP1 & FP2

The 2022 Formula 1 season resumes with Friday practice for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Live: F1 Saudi Arabian GP updates – FP1 & FP2

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.

Sebastian Vettel is missing for Aston Martin again due to COVID-19, with Nico Hulkenberg continuing in his role as super-sub which he undertook at the Bahrain GP and on three occasions for the team back in 2020.

FP1 starts at 2pm GMT (5pm local time) and will run for one hour, with FP2 taking place at 5pm GMT (8pm local time) and will also run for one hour.

By: Haydn Cobb, Lewis Duncan

Summary

Leaderboard
  1. Leclerc, Ferrari, 1m30.074s
  2. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1m30.214s
  3. Sainz, Ferrari, 1m30.320s
  4. Perez, Red Bull, 1m30.360s
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m30.513s
  6. Russell, Mercedes, 1m30.664s
  7. Norris, McLaren, 1m30.735s
  8. Ocon, Alpine, 1m30.760s
  9. Bottas, Alfa Romeo, 1m30.832s
  10. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, 1m30.886s
Summary
  • Leclerc tops delayed FP2 despite crash
  • Magnussen stops with engine issue
  • Tsunoda stops late on
  • Hulkenberg back in at Aston Martin as Vettel recovers from COVID
Status: Stopped
For now though we will wrap up the F1 live text commentary coverage on a busy Friday at Jeddah. Have a lovely evening and go well!

This one could roll on for a while tonight. We'll bring you the latest news and F1 reaction when we get it.

 
Here's the round-up on an eventful FP2 both on and off the track: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-saudi-arabian-gp-leclerc-leads-verstappen-and-sainz-in-fp2/9316168/
So four cars in total fail to see out the duration of FP2, with Magnussen stopping on track midway through before both Ferraris tapped the walls and picked up damage and Tsunoda completed the set with a suspected engine issue.
Tsunoda is out of his F1 car and is waiting for a lift back to the paddock. I wonder how tricky it is to get a taxi at this time of night in Jeddah.
Tsunoda's AlphaTauri conks out right at the end of the session and the Japanese driver pulls over to the side of the track.
That's the end of FP2. Leclerc stays quickest from Verstappen and Sainz.
"Rears fully gone now," Latifi reports over team radio having done 14 laps on his set of mediums. Given the race is 50 laps on Sunday, that could mean a lot of pitstops.
Ferrari has confirmed both drivers won't resume FP2 due to damage to their cars. How much will that come back to hurt the team come Sunday?
 

Both Red Bulls and Mercedes drivers are on the mediums during the high fuel running, as Perez shows how to ride the kerb through Turns 16-17. He got a proper grind going before hopping off.

 
Leclerc is out of his Ferrari and his session is over after hitting the wall earlier. Sainz also hasn't come out on the track yet since his slight interaction with the barrier.
With 15 minutes to go in FP2, it is time for the race runs. A big spread on tyre picks for this part of the session with a show of softs, mediums and hards across the drivers.
Briefly looking away from FP2, F1 chiefs have made clear to teams and drivers the Saudi Arabian GP will proceed as planned despite an attack on a nearby oil facility. Here's the latest: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-tells-drivers-saudi-gp-will-go-ahead-despite-nearby-attack/9315821/
Moments earlier Sainz also nudged the outside wall at Turn 13 but appears to have got away with it. Not a great couple of minutes for Ferrari.

Leclerc has bumped into the inside wall with his front-left and damaged his Ferrari. He trundles back to the pits but that looks set to wreck his race run with 19 minutes of FP2 to go.

During the last few minutes the top of the timing screen has taken a familiar picture for 2022. Leclerc, Verstappen, Sainz and Perez split by 0.286s and then the two Mercedes a couple of tenths back.
The green flag is out, as you were.
The Virtual Safety Car has been called so Magnussen's stricken Haas came be recovered at Turn 14. The TV replays show Magnussen riding a kerb, not too heavily, but it triggers the stoppage.
We've spoken too soon, Magnussen has come to a stop in the second sector. His dashboard is off and he is getting out of the car.
Magnussen appears to be OK to continue for Haas as he doesn't pit and carries on for another push lap on the softs.
"Power. Engine problem," Magnussen reports over Haas team radio. It hasn't been an easy day for the Danish driver having missed most of FP1 with a hydraulics issue.
Leclerc's lap puts him top again with a 1m30.074s, almost two-tenths faster than Verstappen, who has just come out on the softs for the first time this session.
The helmet cam is something special for F1. On board with Leclerc for his push lap on the softs reveals his dashboard and how instant the delta change is.
It appears most drivers are going for two warm-up laps on the soft tyres before a quali-style effort, as Russell improves again to go fifth fastest with a 1m30.664s.
Russell, also on the softs, only goes eighth quickest with a 1m31.408s.
Hulkenberg, first on the softs, goes 13th fastest with a 1m31.615s, as team-mate Stroll goes seventh fastest with a 1m31.372s.
Soft tyre time in FP2, so expect the timing screen to shake up all over again.
Perez also improves to go fourth fastest which sees 0.146s split the top four. After that it is Gasly who is almost a full second off Verstappen.
The track has gone a bit quieter so it gives a bit of space for the Red Bulls to push on. Verstappen puts in a 1m30.214s to go 0.002s faster than Leclerc. That's close.
Sainz has improved to move just off one-tenth of a second behind his team-mate Leclerc's overall top lap. It does appear to take the Spaniard a little longer to get comfortable in the Ferrari.
"I need the spare seat, that's higher," Hamilton says over team radio. Meanwhile his team-mate Russell pops up to seventh place 1.3s off the top.
Verstappen goes third quickest, 1.074s off Leclerc's overall top lap.
Not a problem for Red Bull though, with Verstappen and Perez on track now and about to offer up their opening lap times.
"Quite a lot of bouncing," Sainz reports over Ferrari team radio. He's not the only one as Hamilton looks like he is jumping around in his Mercedes cockpit. So much porpoising.
Leclerc sets the early pace, even with a slide out of Turn 2, with a 1m30.216s to go 1.1s quicker than team-mate Sainz.
First lap times coming up. Expect the laps to be much quicker with a cooler and rubbered in track compared to FP1.
Now up to 18 drivers on the circuit - just the Red Bulls staying put in the garage.

12 drivers immediately out on track for the one-hour session. The track temperature is around four degrees Celsius cooler than FP1.