The first practice session for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit concluded on Friday with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc clocking a 1m 30.772s on the closing stages on the soft compound tires. Bahrain Grand Prix winner Leclerc picked up from where he left off in Bahrain as he set the pace in first place for the Saudi Arabian GP. Legendary Red Bull’s driver Max Verstappen, who had a disappointing race in Bahrain, was second quickest.
However, the race was red-flagged when a braking marker placed 50 meters before Turn 1 fell onto the track and swiftly turned into a pile of debris by Lando Norris. 1 minute 30.888 seconds from Verstappen on the hard tire was enough to vault him to the top spot before the interruption, but the halt cost him the pole position.
Despite the fact that Verstappen switched to higher-fuel running, his hard tire effort kept him ahead of everyone until Leclerc finally leapfrogged him with a second attempt on a fresh soft tire. The quickest in the race, Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz had both not run before the red debris flag and therefore delayed their soft-tire runs; despite Sainz reported a huge amount of bouncing, he finished fourth, 0.367s behind Leclerc. Alpha Tauri duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda were an encouraging fifth and sixth, respectively, ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (P7).