Max Verstappen got his title defence off to a flying start in Bahrain, leading a comfortable Red Bull one-two finish as he attempts to win a third successive championship in a row.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last year saw a tight battle between Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and it would be a welcome thing were it to happen again in 2023. That, though, relies on Ferrari getting their act together.
But can a resurgent Aston Martin spring another surprise with another strong performance?
When is it?
The 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix runs from Friday March 17 until Sunday March 19.
What time do the sessions start?
Friday, March 17
First practice – 1.30pm GMT
Second practice – 5pm
Saturday, March 18
Third practice – 1.30pm
Qualifying – 5pm
Sunday, March 19
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – 5pm
What were the times after second practice?
- Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1mins 29.603secs
- Fernando Alonso (Spa) Aston Martin 1:29.811
- Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:29.902
- Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:30.039
- George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:30.070
- Pierre Gasly (Fra) Alpine 1:30.100
- Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:30.110
- Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) MoneyGram Haas F1 1:30.181
- Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:30.341
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spa) Ferrari 1:30.592
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:30.599
- Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:30.721
- Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:30.776
- Alexander Albon (Tha) Williams 1:30.810
- Kevin Magnussen (Den) MoneyGram Haas F1 1:30.820
- Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1:30.837
- Nyck de Vries (Ned) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:30.921
- Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams 1:30.959
- Oscar Piastri (Aus) McLaren 1:30.964
- Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1:31.052
What TV channel is it on?
Sky Sports F1 have near-exclusive live coverage rights in the UK this year and indeed for the next few with their usual excellent team.
Sky’s qualifying program starts at 4pm GMT on Saturday, with their race coverage at 3.30pm on Sunday.
Channel 4 also have extended highlights coverage this year. Their qualifying coverage begins at 8.50pm GMT on Saturday with race highlights from 10.15pm the following day.
What do we know about the Jeddah Corniche Circuit?
- Circuit length: 6.174km
- First grand prix: 2021
- Laps: 50
- Race distance: 308.45km
- Lap record: 1:30.734 (Lewis Hamilton, 2021)
- Number of corners: 27
- Overtaking chances: It was an unknown before the inaugural race in November 2021, but in the end the final result was that it was possible, especially at the first run of corners. The duel between Verstappen and Leclerc shows that a game of ‘DRS chicken’ cannot be ruled out, although the DRS zones have been tweaked slightly as well as a few other changes on the track.