Charles Leclerc crashes at 170mph, leaving his Ferrari in pieces during practice for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton turns the heat on Max Verstappen with his fastest lap at the newly built circuit

  • Lewis Hamilton set the record for Friday practice in the Saudi Arabian GP.
  • Charles Leclerc’s huge Ferrari crash late in the evening was the headline of Session 
  • It’s the last two events of the season that will determine the Championship race. 
  • Hamilton has increased the pressure on Max Verstappen his bitter rival 
  • He has won the last two races to close within eight points of the title leader 

Lewis Hamilton continues his climb to an eighth Formula One title, setting the pace for Friday’s practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver has won the last two races to close within eight points of championship leader Max Verstappen heading into the final two grands prix of the year. 

However, Friday’s second practice was a defining moment in title contention. During the closing minutes of the session Charles Leclerc crashed hard for Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc suffered a huge crash that saw him wreck his Ferrari late on in practice

Charles Leclerc was involved in a major crash which saw his Ferrari destroyed late in practice

The 24-year-old thankfully showed no sign of any serious injury as he leapt from the wreckage

As he jumped from the wreckage, the 24-year-old showed no signs of serious injuries.

After replacing his steering wheel, Leclerc assessed the huge damage done to his Ferrari

Leclerc replaced his steering wheel and assessed the damage to Ferrari’s.

Monegasque driver, who lost control of the Ferrari at his rear as he entered a fast left-hander at Turn 22 at just 170mph was sent into a spin toward the Tecpro barriers. It cushioned his impact with the barrier and he crashed off the circuit.

Leclerc apologized over team radio, and was then released to his teammates after a medical check. 

The youngster, aged 24, did not suffer any injuries while he was climbing out of his Ferrari. His team has yet to fully assess the extent and will continue to repair it throughout the night. 

Hamilton won both day sessions fastest, beating his teammate Valtteri bottas. Verstappen was around two tenths slower in the evening session. 

Lewis Hamilton was fastest throughout Friday practice for Mercedes in Saudi Arabia

Friday’s practice was a success for Mercedes-Benz in Saudi Arabia. Lewis Hamilton was the fastest

Hamilton has set a high bar in Saudi Arabia which is hosting an F1 grand prix for the first time

Hamilton is setting a precedent in Saudi Arabia where F1 Grand Prix will be held for the first-time.


1 Hamilton (Gbr), Mercedes 1 : 29.018

2 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:29.079

3 Gasly, (Fra), AlphaTauri 1:19.099

4 Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:29.213

Alpine 2:9.441 5 Alonso

6 Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:29.555

7 Sainz (Spa) Ferrari. 1:29.589

8 Tsunoda (Jpn) AlphaTauri 1:29.597

9 Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:29.768

10 Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:29.772 

11 Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:29.968

12 Norris, Gbr McLaren 1:05.004

13 Giovinazzi (Ita) A. Romeo 1:30.110

14 Raikkonen (Fin) A. Romeo 1:30.276

15 Stroll, (Can) Aston Martin at 1:30.442,

16 Vettel (Ger), Aston Martin 1:502

17 Russell (Gbr. Williams) 1:30.506

18 Schumacher (Ger), Haas 1:30.652

19 Latifi (Can) Williams 1:31.039

20 Mazepin (Raf) Haas 1:31.629 

Hamilton, who led the charge off track on Wednesday against the Saudi Arabian treatment of LGBTQ+ communities, admitted that he did not feel at home racing in Saudi Arabia.

He was at ease on the track, however, and his time of 1 minute 29.786 seconds beat Verstappen just by 0.056 seconds. The second Mercedes Valtteri bottas came in third during the first session.

Workers continued to prepare the venue until the wee hours of Thursday, but the planned ribbon cutting ceremony was quickly cancelled.

Formula Two’s practice session was also delayed due to an “operational problem” that occurred before F1 cars arrived at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The inaugural race in Jeddah features as the penultimate event in a thrilling championship race

As the final event of a thrilling championship race, the inaugural Jeddah race is featured.

Hamilton also opted to wear pride colours on his helmet to draw attention to important issues

Hamilton chose to sport pride colors on his helmet in order to bring attention to critical issues

The track was untested, and the qualifying race and Sunday’s race were held in the evening. This session was more of an experience for drivers.

Hamilton, Pierre Gasly, fifth fastest AlphaTauri, will still be happy to win the top spot, as well as the Aston Martin Antonio Giovinazzi, at fourth.

Ferrari came in sixth and seventh place with Carlos Sainz (and Charles Leclerc), while Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10.