After an action-packed qualifying session on Saturday, it was Sergio Perez who beat the chasing pack to put his Red Bull on pole position for the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Mexican driver pipped Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso to take just the second pole of his F1 career, both of which have come at the same circuit in Jeddah.
His teammate Max Verstappen arguably would have taken top spot if it wasn’t for a transmission problem that saw the Dutch driver have to retire halfway through Q2, meaning that he’ll start today’s race from P15 on the grid.
The opening race winner will be closely behind World Drivers’ Championship title rival Leclerc who, despite finishing qualifying in P2, drops to P12 on the starting grid today due to a 10-place penalty for changing engine parts ahead of the weekend.
MORE: F1 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Predictions, odds, betting tips and best bets
F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 live updates, highlights: As it happens
Lap 20: All the front runners dive into the pits as a result and it’s good news for Alonso. He manages to serve his five-second penalty and still maintain P2 on the track.
Remember that all the cars will now bunch up behind that safety car and with all on different tyres, this restart could be fun. The order is: Perez, Alonso, Russell, Verstappen, Sainz, Hamilton and Leclerc.
Lap 18: Stroll is out!!! His engineer comes over the radio and tells him to stop out on track. That could explain how both Ferrari’s managed to jump the Canadian in the pits.
The safety car is out.
Lap 17: Sainz pits and comes out ahead of Stroll! The undercut did not work well for Aston Martin there at all.
Verstappen is set to overtake Leclerc but Ferrari pull their man in for his first change. Remarkably, he’s also jumped Stroll in the process.
Lap 15: Not to be outdone by Leclerc, Verstappen now jumps Ocon too.
Stroll in the Aston Martin pits from P4. That’s quite an early move from the British team to put the Canadian onto the hard tyres which don’t look that competitive here.
Lap 14: In response to that Verstappen overtake, Leclerc now gets past Ocon and snatches P6 away from the French driver.
Perez extends his lead to nearly four seconds on Alonso.
Lap 13: Just like Leclerc a few laps prior, Verstappen gets past Hamilton down the start/finish straight.
The back-to-back world champion is starting to fly now!
Lap 12: To recap then, Perez leads this race by two seconds from Alonso. After the Spaniard comes Russell, Stroll and Sainz.
Leclerc and Verstappen are already up to P7 and P9 respectively with Hamilton sandwiched between the pair.
Lap 10: Leclerc opens up his DRS and breezes past Hamilton on the start/finish straight. The Brit had picked up a black and white flag on the prior lap for weaving on the straights as he looked to break the tow to the Ferrari driver.
Verstappen jumps Gasly for P9. Up next, Hamilton..
Lap 9: Perez puts in the fastest lap of the race so far as he looks to pull away from Alonso out in front. Teammate Verstappen passes Zhou Guanyu further back for P10.
Lap 8: Hamilton is struggling here as he’s the only driver out there on the hard tyres. Leclerc is pressuring him from behind now as the Ferrari man makes his way past Gasly and up into P8.
Lap 6: Verstappen picks up a few more places and he’s now up to P11. He’s flying out there, just like his teammate Perez who now nearly holds a second gap to Alonso in the race lead.
Lap 3: Perez now leads the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix!!! DRS is enabled and the Mexican driver dives down the inside at the first corner to regain the lead.
Perez steams down the inside at Turn 1 and takes the lead from Alonso!#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/3BnNW7fout
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 19, 2023
It’s a double disaster for McLaren as Norris is also forced to come into the pits and change his front wing due to damage.
Lap 2: It’s a five-second penalty for Alonso! He’ll have to serve that when he comes into the pits later on.
Elsewhere his teammate jumps Sainz into P4 and Piastri is forced to pit due to front wing damage. Leclerc is up into P9 with Verstappen in P13.
LIGHTS OUT: We’re underway here in Jeddah and Alonso leads the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix!!! It’s the perfect start from the veteran who gets off the line quickly and beats Perez to the opening corner.
He has been noted for an incorrect starting position however!
2 minutes to lights out: We’re off for the formation lap ahead of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Plenty of different tyre selections from the drivers here which should make this race even more interesting.
15 minutes to lights out: The drivers are starting to head to the front of the grid for the national anthem. Not long left now until we go racing around this exciting Jeddah Street Circuit!
Grid filling, atmosphere building! Just a few minutes before lights out in Saudi Arabia#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/84UlYkYSMG
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 19, 2023
30 minutes to lights out: As the pit lane opens, we see the cars begin to make their way to the starting grid.
45 minutes to lights out: Who else can challenge for the win today then? Well, look no further than Fernando Alonso who starts alongside Perez on the front row.
Expect the veteran Spaniard to make a strong start in his Aston Martin car as he looks for a first F1 win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix!
According to this poll on Formula One’s official twitter account, he’s the favourite amongst the fans.
Who’s gonna win today? 🤔#SaudiArabianGP #F1
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 19, 2023
1 hour to lights out: Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen will be having very different ideas today though!
The Dutchman may be starting this race from P15 but if he can avoid any sort of trouble in the early exchanges, he could very much still be near the front of the pack come the end of this race.
Remember; Verstappen won last year’s Belgian Grand Prix despite starting in P14.
1 hour and 15 minutes to lights out: It perhaps isn’t the Red Bull car that we all expected to see on pole today but Sergio Perez will be absolutely desperate to take the chequered flag.
He’s only ever won four races throughout his career and he’ll be hoping for better today than last year’s visit to Saudi Arabia. That’s because last season he took pole here but ended up finishing the subsequent race in P4..
1 hour and 30 mins to lights out: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix — the second race of the new F1 season.
With its tight corners and lightning-quick straights, expect plenty of drama today as F1 returns to the Jeddah Street Circuit.
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 starting grid
|18||Nyck de Vries|
*denotes grid-place penalty.
MORE: F1 qualifying results: Sergio Perez on pole for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen suffers technical trouble
What time does the F1 race start?
- Date: Sunday, March 19
- Start time: 5 p.m. GMT / 1 p.m ET / 4 a.m AEST (Mar 20) / 8 p.m. local time
Sunday’s 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. local time. Lights out will take place just after 3 p.m. GMT
Below is the complete schedule for the weekend’s F1 events at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
|Date||Event||Time (GMT)||Time (ET)||Time (AEST)|
|Friday, Mar 17||Practice 1||13:30 p.m.||9:30 a.m||12:30 a.m (Mar 18)|
|Friday, Mar 17||Practice 2||5 p.m.||1 p.m||4 a.m (Mar 18)|
|Saturday, Mar 18||Practice 3||13:30 p.m.||9:30 a.m||12:30 a.m (Mar 19)|
|Saturday, Mar 18||Qualifying||5 p.m.||1 p.m||4 a.m (Mar 19)|
|Sunday, Mar 19||Race||5 p.m.||1 p.m||4 a.m (Mar 20)|
What TV channel is the F1 on?
|TV Channel||Sky Sports F1||ESPN/ABC||TSN (English); RDS (French)||Fox Sports|
Where can I live stream F1?
|Live Stream||NOW TV / Sky Go app||ESPN+||fuboTV, TSN Direct||Kayo|
How to watch Formula 1 in the US
- TV channel: ABC; ESPN
- Live stream: FuboTV / Hulu / Sling TV
F1 fans in the USA can catch all the action in 2023 with all 23 races set to be shown live on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. For Spanish-language viewers, they can find live broadcasts on ESPN Deportes, though ESPNews and ESPNU will also show some practice and qualifying sessions live throughout the year.
As well as on the official F1 TV service, the action can be live streamed on Hulu + Live TV with subscriptions. Elsewhere, Sling TV will also show the action, as too will FuboTV in the US.
How to watch Formula 1 in Canada
- TV channel: TSN (English); RDS (French)
- Live stream: TSN Direct
For fans in Canada, TSN will carry the English-language telecast of races. For those looking for the French-language broadcast, RDS will have you covered.
Races can be streamed on fuboTV and via TSN’s streaming service, TSN Direct.
How to watch Formula 1 in the United Kingdom
- TV channel: Sky Sports F1
- Live stream: NOW TV / Sky Go app
Viewers in the United Kingdom can catch all F1 action on Sky Sports F1, the dedicated F1 channel. For viewers planning to live stream F1 in 2023, you can watch via the Sky Go app if you’re an existing subscriber or you can purchase a Sky Sports Pass on NOW TV.
How to watch Formula 1 in Australia
- TV channel: Fox Sports; Channel 10
- Live stream: Kayo
Fox Sports will carry all races in Australia for the 2023 season.
How to watch Formula 1 in India
- TV channel: N/A
- Live stream: F1 TV Pro
No TV broadcast network is currently set to host the action throughout this year in India, though Formula 1 has launched F1 TV Pro in the country for the first time so fans can live stream the action.
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