Latest World News

Saudi Grand Prix: Verstappen to renew the historic 2022 epic


An emergency defect puts the Dutch driver in 15th place today… and Perez is on pole

Mexican Sergio Perez, the Red Bull driver, grabbed pole position in the Saudi Grand Prix of the Formula 1 world championship, taking advantage of a problem for his defending champion Max Verstappen.

Perez took the lead, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who will drop 10 places at the start due to a penalty.

Fernando Alonso came third with “Aston Martin”, but he will start in the big and final race today from the first row.

Verstappen was out of the second qualifying period due to what appeared to be an engine problem, but Red Bull later announced that it was a broken crankshaft.

The trio of Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc competed to snatch the first place during the qualifying trials, so that each of them achieved their best times on the Corniche circuit in Jeddah, before Perez snatched the lead from everyone to finish first, and after him came Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver, second, while Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin was third.

Verstappen went out during free practice yesterday due to an engine problem (Middle East)

George Russell, a Mercedes driver, finished fourth with the starting pole before the Saudi Grand Prix, followed by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in fifth place, then Stroll and Ocon in sixth and seventh respectively.

The qualifying trials witnessed a big surprise after Verstappen’s exit and his inability to complete the last stage, due to a problem with his car’s engine, to start the final race in 15th place, despite leading the free trials in 3 stages in a row, while Briton Lewis Hamilton, winner of the Saudi Prix in 2021, finished. In eighth place.

It is noteworthy that Verstappen is the winning driver in the Saudi Grand Prix during the year 2022, after a fierce and historic battle with his fierce British rival Lewis Hamilton, and he also finished first during the Bahrain Grand Prix, so he aspires to preserve his title during the Jeddah Corniche race.

The circuit is located on the banks of the Jeddah Corniche, specifically the Red Sea coast, with an extension of 12 km north of central Jeddah, in an exceptional location for holding Formula 1 competitions.

It took nearly 8 months to build this distinctive circuit, achieving a world record, in addition to being the fastest street circuit in the “Formula 1” list, with an average speed of 252 km per hour, reaching a speed of 322 km per hour, while the length of the track reaches The circuit is 6.175 km long, which makes it the longest track for a street circuit, and second in the list of the longest racetracks, after the Francorchamps racetrack in Belgium.

The circuit also features 27 turns; 16 turns on the left side and 11 turns on the right side, in addition to that 3 potential turns have been allocated to activate the drag reduction system “DRS”, in addition to the fact that the race at night gives it more glow and enthusiasm by the drivers or the fans.

Aerial shows dazzled the audience yesterday afternoon in the sky of the Jeddah circuit (Photo: Abdullah Al-Falih)

The arena, which is located in the Bride of the Red Sea, is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, in enhancing the quality of life, especially since the infrastructure of the arena was established and designed, in order to position it as environmentally friendly, and to add positive value to the population. The arena is also characterized by the presence of more than 43,000 square meters of green areas, planting more than 2,000 trees, and the site is characterized by a sustainable design, which contributes to reducing the demand for irrigation and reducing the thermal impact, in order to slow the rate of air pollution.

Returning to the history of hosting this international sporting event, the first hosting in this circuit dates back to 2021 AD, in a competition won by British Lewis Hamilton, the driver of the Mercedes team, and in 2022 the circuit hosted Formula competitions for the second time, and it was the share of Dutchman Max Verstappen.

Entertainment will also be present on the sidelines of the Saudi Grand Prix race by holding a number of concerts and events accompanying the event, with confirmation of the participation of the “Swedish House Mafia” team, in the concerts accompanying the race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit until March 19, on the main stage in the circuit. Jeddah Corniche.

In addition to “Swedish House Mafia”, the concert program abounds with a number of other concerts, after confirming the participation of international star Charlie Puth, and the participation of Egyptian star and singer Ahmed Saad in another concert, in addition to experiences of innovation space, creative cars, and virtual reality simulation games.

Jeddah Circuit is ready for the big race today (Photo: Abdullah Al-Falih)

On the other hand, Aseel Al-Hamad, a member of the Saudi Federation of Automobiles and Motorcycles, expressed her happiness at the entry of Saudi companies to sponsor the Saudi Grand Prix and other races on the sidelines of the global “Formula 1” season.

Aseel told Asharq Al-Awsat: “I am very happy with the entry of giant Saudi companies to sponsor the Formula 1 races, in addition to the presence of Saudi companies and their sponsorship of the teams participating in the world championship.”

A member of the Saudi Federation of Automobiles and Motorcycles said, “We are witnessing a remarkable development in Saudi Arabia’s organization of the global race, through the presence of large companies with the value of (Aramco) and (NEOM), to confirm that the Kingdom is an important sign in the automotive industry and races around the world.”

And about the expected race at the Jeddah Corniche circuit, Aseel Al-Hamad expressed her admiration for the capabilities of the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso, the driver of the “Aston Martin” team, after his great level and impressive performance in the Bahrain race and his superiority during the free trials in the Saudi Prix race, so she encourages Fernando Alonso, especially that Aston Martin is supported by Saudi Aramco as its official sponsor, in addition to its love for the Alpine Renault team because of its earlier driving.