Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Hamilton fastest in FP1 by a slender margin

Lewis Hamilton pipped title rival Max Verstappen in the primary free observe session for this weekend’s inaugural Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix, working simply six hundredths of a second faster than the Dutch driver.

Valtteri Bottas clocked the third fastest time, a little over two tenths of a second adrift of Mercedes team-mate Hamilton.

Championship-leading Red Bull driver Verstappen led the way in which early in the afternoon session on onerous tyres, steadily working his approach right down to a time of 1:30.014 on the white-banded Pirelli compound.

Hamilton took longer to seek out a rhythm across the new 6.174 Jeddah Corniche Circuit and he used delicate compound tyres to get to six-tenths of a second off Verstappen’s greatest lap in the course of the opening runs with Bottas additionally utilizing delicate tyres to take third.

The complete discipline moved to the red-banded softs for the second half of the hour-long session and because the tracked ‘rubbered in’ the instances started to drop considerably. Both Hamilton and Bottas shifting forward of Verstappen with the Finn edging five-thousandths of a second away from the Red Bull driver together with his second run on softs, and Hamilton then shifting forward of his team-mate by two tenths of a second.

The seven-time champion’s effort established the benchmark at 1:29.786 with quarter-hour left on the clock. Verstappen continued to pound out laps on the snaking, high-speed structure and in the dying moments moved forward of Bottas and claimed P2 with a lap 1:29.842, simply 0.056s off Hamilton.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly ended the session in fourth place, lower than half a second off Hamilton, whereas Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi took fifth place, once more with a late enchancment on delicate tyres.

Sixth and seventh place in the session went to Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo took eighth place on the timesheet for McLaren. Fernando Alonso was ninth for Alpine together with his greatest time being set on onerous tyres in the course of the second half of the session and the highest 10 order was accomplished by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel who set a time of 1:30.886, a little over a hundredth of a second in entrance of the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez.

2021 FIA Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.786 21 247.548
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:29.842 0.056 23 247.394
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:30.009 0.223 24 246.935
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:30.263 0.477 28 246.240
5 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.318 0.532 27 246.090
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:30.564 0.778 26 245.422
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:30.600 0.814 26 245.324
8 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:30.608 0.822 25 245.302
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:30.842 1.056 27 244.670
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:30.886 1.100 25 244.552
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:30.960 1.174 27 244.353
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:31.023 1.237 29 244.184
13 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:31.029 1.243 23 244.168
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:31.044 1.258 25 244.128
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:31.099 1.313 26 243.980
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:31.296 1.510 26 243.454
17 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:31.343 1.557 28 243.328
18 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:31.525 1.739 24 242.845
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:31.821 2.035 27 242.062
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:33.464 3.678 23 237.807

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