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The 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 stc Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021) will be the 21st race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, held at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit between December 3 and December 5 2021. It will be the inaugural F1 race held in Saudi Arabia.


Background[]

In August 2019, plans for a permanent motorsports complex to be built in the city of Qiddiya were made public. The project was conceived by Test and Training International, a motorsports consultancy headed by former Formula One driver Alexander Wurz, with the objective of creating a world-class circuit capable of hosting all FIA categories through to Formula One.[1] In January 2020, plans for a race track in Qiddiya were officially confirmed at an event, where track designer Wurz, appeared alongside current and former Formula One drivers who were given the opportunity to drive on the layout in a racing simulator.[2] During the event, it was confirmed that the track was designed to FIA and FIM Grade 1 standards. At the time, Formula One declined to comment on the possibility of a race.[3]

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix first appeared on the first draft of the 2021 Formula One provisional calendar, which was shown to teams at a Formula One Commission meeting, held in October 2020.[4] The draft calendar saw all 22 races from the original 2020 calendar carried over, with the addition of Saudi Arabia.[5] In November 2020, it was announced that the city of Jeddah would host the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, in collaboration with the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation.[6] The Jeddah Corniche Circuit will be located along the banks of the Red Sea.[7]

The layout of the street circuit was unveiled on March 18 2021. Designed by Hermann Tilke, the track will be held in the Corniche area in Jeddah. With a length of 6.175 km (3.836 miles), and with a projected average speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), the circuit will be the fastest street circuit ever raced.

The Grand Prix has received criticism from Amnesty International on the grounds of human rights in Saudi Arabia. Human Rights Watch also condemned the decision arguing that “It is part of a cynical strategy to distract from Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses." Formula One responded by saying that "[Formula One has] made our position on human rights and other issues clear to all our partners and host countries who commit to respect human rights in the way their events are hosted and delivered." and that "[Formula One has] worked hard to be a positive force everywhere it races, including economic, social and cultural benefits."[8][9] In February 2021, 45 human rights organizations called on Lewis Hamilton to boycott the Grand Prix citing Saudi Arabia's role in the Yemeni Civil War, its detention of woman's rights activists, and the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.[10][11] Saudi Arabia has denied the Grand Prix was being used for sportswashing, arguing that the race is part of a process to open up Saudi Arabia to the outside world.[12]

Following a missile interception in Diriyah during the 2021 Diriyah ePrix Formula E race held earlier in the year, questions were raised about the event's viability.[13][14] Formula One later stated that they would never go to high security risk areas, though stated that they had "every confidence that the Saudi government and its agencies have both the technology and capability to ensure this safety and security.”[15]

In the last weeks leading to the race weekend, photos circulated online showed that the circuit construction progress appeared to have been behind schedule. Race officials however assured that the track would be finished in time for the weekend, with the track finally receiving approval from the FIA one day before the first practice session on Friday.

On the week of the race, Sebastian Vettel hosted an all-women karting event to promote awareness for womens' rights and encourage women in Saudi Arabia to participate in motorsports.[16]

I set up my own karting event today under the hashtag #raceforwomen, and I think a group of seven or eight girls and women were on the track. We set up a nice event only for them and I was trying to pass on some of my experiences in life and on track, to do something together to grow their confidence.

Lewis Hamilton wearing a rainbow livery helmet

Lewis Hamilton meanwhile continued to wear his rainbow-colored helmet livery, as he similarly wore at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, to protest the atrocities committed by the restrictive regimes in Middle Eastern countries against the LGBTQ+ community.[17] In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is common to be punished by flogging or imprisonment for practicing same-sex behaviors.

On the back it says, 'we stand together' and 'love is love', and it's important for me to represent that community here as I know there are several situations which aren't perfect and need to be highlighted.

One week before the race, Williams co-founder and former owner Frank Williams died at the age of 79. Tributes came in from the motorsport community, with teams sporting tributes on their cars in the weekend, and Alpine sporting a one-off livery to commemorate their 100th race during their partnership with sponsor Castrol. On the eve of the race weekend, Williams CEO Jost Capito was announced to have been tested COVID-positive and therefore missing the weekend.

Entry List[]

The full entry list for the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35M Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35M Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Aston Martin AMR21 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43B Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C41 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Uralkali Haas F1 Team Haas VF-21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
10 France Pierre Gasly Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT02 Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull Racing Honda Red Bull RB16B Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine F1 Team Alpine A521 Renault E-Tech 21 1.6 V6t P
16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Ferrari SF21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Aston Martin AMR21 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT02 Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine F1 Team Alpine A521 Renault E-Tech 21 1.6 V6t P
33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing Honda Red Bull RB16B Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W12 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Uralkali Haas F1 Team Haas VF-21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Ferrari SF21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43B Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W12 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C41 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
Source:[18]

Practice[]

FP1[]

Lewis Hamilton goes fastest in FP1, followed by Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. Both Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, Jr. outperformed the McLarens. A surprise performance by Antonio Giovinazzi who went 5th fastest and Sergio Pérez performed worse than expected in 11th.[19]

FP2[]

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in FP2, followed by Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly, and Max Verstappen. Hamilton and Verstappen's qualifying simulations were constantly interrupted by on-track traffic, with the session ending prematurely with five minutes remaining after Leclerc crashed heavily at Turn 23, totaling his car.[20]

FP3[]

Practice Results[]

No Driver Team FP1 FP2 FP3
Time Pos Time Pos Time Pos
3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.608 8 1:29.968 11 1:29.717 14
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.029 13 1:30.004 12 1:29.300 10
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 1:30.886 10 1:30.502 16 1:30.296 17
6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 1:31.821 19 1:31.039 19 1:30.366 18
7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:31.296 16 1:30.276 7 1:29.689 13
9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Haas-Ferrari 1:33.464 20 1:31.629 20 1:30.979 20
10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 1:30.263 4 1:29.099 3 1:28:715 5
11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull-Honda 1:30.960 11 1:29.768 9 1:28:629 3
14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine-Renault 1:30.842 9 1:29.441 5 1:29.418 11
16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 1:30.600 7 1:29.772 10 1:29.101 7
18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 1:31.044 14 1:30.442 15 1:30.030 15
22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 1:31.099 15 1:29.597 8 1:28:641 4
31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine-Renault 1:31.023 12 1:29.555 6 1:29.177 9
33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 1:29.842 2 1:29.213 4 1:28:100 1
44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes 1:29.786 1 1:29.018 1 1:28:314 2
47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Haas-Ferrari 1:31.525 18 1:30.652 18 1:30.933 19
55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Ferrari 1:30.564 6 1:29.589 7 1:29.149 8
63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 1:31.343 17 1:30.506 17 1:30.034 16
77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 1:30.009 3 1:29.079 2 1:29:019 6
99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:30.318 5 1:30.110 13 1:29.590 12
Source: [21][22][23]

Qualifying[]

Q1[]

In a session beset by traffic in late stages, eliminated from Q1 were Latifi, Vettel, Stroll, Schumacher and Mazepin. Bottas, who was second fastest behind Perez, had issues with his engine and ground to a halt at pit entry, but was able to get going again into the next session.

Q2[]

Eliminated from the session were Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Alonso, Russell and Sainz, who spun heavily and damaged his rear wing, compromising his subsequent laps.

Q3[]

Verstappen set the fastest overall time with the Mercedes duo behind, with Hamilton messing up on his initial flying lap. Hamilton later beat Verstappen's time with Bottas second fastest behind. Verstappen had gone faster than Hamilton in the first two sectors when he ran wide and made contact with the wall at the final turn, damaging his suspension and ultimately handing his title rival pole position, being third fastest.

Qualifying Results[]

The full qualifying results for the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes 9 1:28.466 1 1:27.712 1 1:27.511 1
2 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 2 1:28.057 4 1:28.054 2 1:27.622 2
3 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 5 1:28.285 3 1:27.953 3 1:27.653 3
4 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 6 1:28.310 8 1:28.459 4 1:28.054 4
5 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull-Honda 1 1:28.021 2 1:27.946 5 1:28.123 5
6 10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 8 1:28.401 6 1:28.314 6 1:28.125 6
7 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 7 1:28.338 7 1:28.344 7 1:28.180 7
8 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 10 1:28.503 5 1:28.222 8 1:28.442 8
9 31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine-Renault 11 1:28.752 9 1:28.574 9 1:28.647 9
10 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 13 1:28.899 10 1:28.616 10 1:28.754 10
11 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 3 1:28.216 11 1:28.668 11
12 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 12 1:28.856 12 1:28.885 12
13 14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine-Renault 15 1:28.944 13 1:28.920 13
14 63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 14 1:28.926 14 1:29.054 14
15 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Italy Ferrari 4 1:28.237 15 1:53.652 15
16 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 16 1:29.177 16
17 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 17 1:29.198 17
18 18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 18 1:29.368 18
19 47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Haas-Ferrari 19 1:29.464 19
20 9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Haas-Ferrari 20 1:30.473 20
107% Time: 1:34.182
Source:[24]
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.

Grid[]

Pos. Pos.
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 United Kingdom 44. Hamilton
Finland 77. Bottas ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Netherlands 33. Verstappen
Monaco 16. Leclerc ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Mexico 11. Pérez
France 10. Gasly ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 United Kingdom 4. Norris
Japan 22. Tsunoda ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 France 31. Ocon
Italy 99. Giovinazzi ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Australia 3. Ricciardo
Finland 7. Räikkönen ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Spain 14. Alonso
United Kingdom 63. Russell ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Spain 55. Sainz
Canada 6. Latifi ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Germany 5. Vettel
Canada 18. Stroll ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Germany 47. Schumacher
Russian Automobile Federation 9. Mazepin ______________

Race[]

Report[]

Results[]

The full results for the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Milestones[]

Standings[]

References[]

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. Rencken, Dieter (8 August 2019). "Saudi Arabia plans Spa-beating longest F1 track for first race" (in en-GB). https://www.racefans.net/2019/08/08/saudi-arabia-planning-spa-beating-longest-f1-track-first-race/.
  2. Noble, Jonathan (17 January 2020). "New Saudi Arabia circuit in Qiddiya could host F1 race from 2023" (in en). https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/147930/saudi-arabia-could-host-f1-race-from-2023.
  3. Benson, Andrew (17 January 2020). "Saudi Arabia unveils plans for F1 race" (in en-GB). BBC Sport. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/51137520.
  4. Smith, Luke (27 October 2020). "Formula 1 set for 23-race calendar in 2021" (in en). https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/formula-1-set-for-23-race-calendar-in-2021/4900026/.
  5. Smith, Luke (30 October 2002). "Formula 1 set for 23-race calendar in 2021" (in en-gb). https://uk.motor1.com/news/451637/formula-1-race-calendar-in-2021/.
  6. Mitchell, Scott (5 November 2020). "Formula 1 commits to first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021" (in en-GB). https://the-race.com/formula-1/formula-1-commits-to-first-saudi-arabian-grand-prix-in-2021/.
  7. "F1 adds Saudi Arabian Grand Prix night race to 2021 calendar" (in en). 5 November 2020. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.f1-adds-saudi-arabian-grand-prix-night-race-to-2021-calendar.49pVgTPyYV0KBJrOwtqUCN.html.
  8. "Saudi Arabian GP on provisional schedule" (in en-GB). BBC Sport. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/54716610.
  9. Richards, Giles (5 November 2020). "Human rights groups urge driver action over F1 race in Saudi Arabia" (in en-GB). The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/nov/05/f1-confirm-saudi-arabia-2021-race-in-face-of-human-rights-criticism-formula-one-motor-sport.
  10. "Saudi F1 race: Activists urge Lewis Hamilton to speak out on human rights" (in en). http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/lewis-hamilton-saudi-formula-one-human-rights.
  11. "Human Rights Organizations Call On Lewis Hamilton To Boycott Saudi Arabia Grand Prix" (in en-US). 2021-02-23. https://www.carscoops.com/2021/02/human-rights-organizations-call-on-lewis-hamilton-to-boycott-saudi-arabia-grand-prix/.
  12. "Saudi Arabia insists F1 grand prix not effort to 'sportswash' image" (in en). https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/saudi-arabia-insists-f1-grand-prix-not-effort-to-sportswash-image-4976906/4976906/.
  13. "Míssil na Arábia Saudita assusta Fórmula E e deixa Fórmula 1 em alerta" (in pt-BR). 2021-02-28. https://www.metropoles.com/esportes/automobilismo/missil-na-arabia-saudita-assusta-formula-e-e-deixa-formula-1-em-alerta.
  14. "Ataque com míssil durante etapa da F-E na Arábia Saudita preocupa F1; entenda" (in pt-BR). 2021-03-01. https://motorsport.uol.com.br/formula-e/news/ataque-com-missil-durante-etapa-da-f-e-na-arabia-saudita-preocupa-f1-entenda/5533754/.
  15. "FIA and Formula 1 respond to Saudi Arabia situation". 6 March 2021. https://www.grandprix247.com/2021/03/06/fia-and-formula-1-respond-to-saudi-arabia-situation/.
  16. Vettel hosts women-only karting race in Saudi Arabia (autosport.com)
  17. Hamilton to use rainbow helmet livery in remaining F1 races (motorsport.com)
  18. 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Entry List (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile.
  19. Motorsport.com: Saudi Arabian GP: Hamilton tops FP1 from Verstappen, https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/saudi-abarian-f1-gp-practice-hamilton-verstappen/6846220/
  20. Motorsport.com: Saudi Arabian GP: Hamilton quickest in FP2 as Leclerc crashes, https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/saudi-arabian-f1-gp-fp2-report-hamilton-leclerc/6846850/
  21. "2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Practice 1 Results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 3 December 2021. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2021/races/1106/saudi-arabia/practice-1.html. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  22. "2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Practice 2 Results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 3 December 2021. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2021/races/1106/saudi-arabia/practice-2.html. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  23. "2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Practice 3 Results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 4 December 2021. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2021/races/1106/saudi-arabia/practice-3.html. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  24. 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Qualifying, https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2021/races/1106/saudi-arabia/qualifying.html, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2021. Retrieved on 4 Dec 2021)
V T E 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship
Teams Alfa RomeoAlphaTauriAlpineAston MartinFerrariHaasMcLarenMercedesRed BullWilliams
Engines FerrariHondaMercedesRenault
Drivers alphabetically AlonsoBottasGaslyGiovinazziHamiltonKubicaLatifiLeclercMazepinNorrisOconPérezRäikkönenRicciardoRussellSainzSchumacherStrollTsunodaVerstappenVettel
Drivers by number 3 Ricciardo • 4 Norris • 5 Vettel • 6 Latifi • 7 Räikkönen • 9 Mazepin • 10 Gasly • 11 Pérez • 14 Alonso • 16 Leclerc • 18 Stroll • 22 Tsunoda • 31 Ocon • 33 Verstappen • 44 Hamilton • 47 Schumacher • 55 Sainz • 63 Russell • 77 Bottas • 88 Kubica • 99 Giovinazzi
Other Drivers AitkenAlbonde Vriesdi RestaFittipaldiHülkenbergIlottKvyatNissanyVandoorneZhou
Cars Alfa Romeo C41AlphaTauri AT02Alpine A521Aston Martin AMR21Ferrari SF21Haas VF-21McLaren MCL35MMercedes W12Red Bull RB16BWilliams FW43B
Tyres Pirelli
Races BahrainImolaPortugalSpainMonacoAzerbaijanFranceStyriaAustriaBritainHungaryBelgiumNetherlandsItalyRussiaTurkeyUnited StatesMexicoSão PauloQatarSaudi ArabiaAbu Dhabi
Cancelled Races ChinaCanadaSingaporeJapanAustralia
Tests Bahrain
See also 2020 Formula One Season2022 Formula One SeasonCategory
V T E Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Circuits Jeddah Corniche Circuit (2021–present)
Jeddah Street Circuit 2021.svg
Races 2021
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