Verstappen tops Saudi Arabian Grand Prix FP1

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Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing F1 Team

By Connor Bacon

Red Bull began where they left off in Bahrain with both their cars a top of the time sheets in a slightly unrepresentative session given the track wasn’t rubbered in and temperatures were around 10 degrees hotter than they will be for FP2 later.

Verstappen, who missed yesterday’s media day due to a stomach bug, was four tenths quicker than Perez who complained of a lack of front end.

Alonso trailed the pair by just under seven tenths of a second followed by his teammate who is in better fitness this weekend after breaking his wrists before the start of the season.

The Mercedes pair ended over a second off Verstappen in the end with Russell fifth and Hamilton sixth – the latter was doing a lot of running on the hard compound tyre.

Sainz and Leclerc were 7th and 11th respectively and will both take new engines this weekend as a “further precaution.” The latter will also take a 10- place grid penalty for taking a new control electronics after the component’s failure in Bahrain.

The top 10 was rounded out by the Williams of Alex Albon who is expecting a strong weekend given the tracks low downforce nature and the FW45’s strength in terms of straight tine speed, and the Alpha Tauri of Yuki Tsunoda.

Albon’s teammate Logan Sargeant ended nearly a second off his teammate as the rookies adapted to the tricky nature of the Jeddah Corniche circuit in F1 machinery.

Oscar Piastri was however seven tenths quicker than Lando Norris who completed the order behind the two Alfa Romeo’s.