It’s race two of the F1 2023 calendar and we’re back in the Middle East after Max Verstappen’s win in Bahrain a fortnight ago. The reigning world champion, however, has to do it all to reach the podium again. A driveshaft failure during qualifying means Verstappen will start in 15th place, although no one expects him to stay there for long after dominating every practice session.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez earned pole position, as he did last year in Jeddah, and is joined on the front row by Fernando Alonso. Mercedes driver George Russell will start in P3 but his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton is seventh and said after qualifying that he “doesn’t feel connected to this car”.

The Jeddah Cornish circuit is considered relatively easy for overtaking, so expect plenty of action. Follow it all with our dedicated live blog below, with expert insight and analysis from Matt Majendie on the track!

Live updates


Matt Mezendi in Jeddah

You get the feeling with Fernando Alonso’s five-second penalty that there is potentially a race going head-to-head with Sergio Perez, although the Mexican already looks more than enough pace to control the race without it.

Alonso takes it on the chin with the simple reply of “a copy” when informed of his punishment.

Meanwhile, Max Verstappen has not made up the ground as expected. He is ranked 13th out of 15.


Perez takes the lead!

Down to one on lap four, Red Bull sticks it out!

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Saudi Arabia Grand Prix: Lap 3/50

Both McLarens had to pit for new front wings after an initial clash. They take hard tires.

With DRS activated, Verstappen Leclerc is now up to 13th, moving up to ninth.

AFP via Getty Images

Five second penalty to Alonso

Nightmare for Aston!

That wrong starting position penalized the race leader.


Saudi Arabia Grand Prix: Lap 2/50

Perez looks at Alonso in the first turn of lap two, but does nothing.

Russell is third ahead of Stroll, Sainz, Ocon and Hamilton – who are on slow, hard tyres.


Lap 1/50

Stroll gets Sainz on the first lap and it’s all happening here!

but Alonso is being investigated for his starting position…

And Piastre has lost the bodywork from the P8 as things get busier.


F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023: Lights Out!

After a few smoke breaks the markers slowly make their way to the start line…

And away they go!



formation lap

Lando Norris, starting 19th, is the only other driver on soft tires for the start.


Saudi Arabia Grand Prix 2023: Formation lap

It’s time to go.

Let’s see who’s on which tyre: all the front six are on mediums then Hamilton on hards.

Leclerc in 12th and on the Softs for a good start.


Max Verstappen’s road to victory

It will be very interesting to see how Verstappen gets through the pack.

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Assuming it’s all clean form, the Dutchman won’t face a real challenge for overtaking until Fernando Alonso is on his horizon.

Therefore, it would not be surprising to see Red Bull try to undercut Verstappen to ease through the pack with a tire change.

Should he catch Perez… well, let’s hope they let them race!


By admin