The 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 stc Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022) was the second race of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship, held at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on the weekend of March 25-27 2022.
Leclerc won the opening race in Bahrain, with Sainz making it a Ferrari 1–2, confirming talks that Ferrari are the favorites to the title as reigning champions Mercedes struggled with porpoising that caused them to lose pace since the Bahrain test. Another point of focus was the reliability issues of RBPT, which had took over Honda as engine supplier and using their technology, and which saw all but one RBPT-powered car (including Verstappen) retire from said issues.
Inaugural race issues
Following an eventful race in the previous season, a few drivers called for improving the track's safety, with the circuit undergoing a number of changes in the build-up to the weekend, as well as finishing a number of incomplete infrastructures at the time of the inaugural race weekend. The promoter released information about the minor tweaks to the track to improve driver visibility at Turns 2, 3, 14, and 21 where the barriers will be moved back between 1.5m to 2m (5ft to 6.5ft).
Pandemic issues continue
The full entry list for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is outlined below:
An oil refinery not far from the circuit was attacked allegedly by Yemeni Houthi rebels on Friday evening, during the closing minutes of FP1. This led to lengthy emergency discussions about the safety of the event. The start of FP2 was delayed, with discussions continuing on past midnight. It was decided that the weekend would be going on with tightened security. A similar case involving the rebels occurred during the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix in the previous year, wherein a missile interception took place.
The full practice results for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:30.888||2||1:30.214||2||1:29.768||2|
|11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:31.563||7||1:30.360||4||1:29.833||3|
|18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1:32.582||12||1:31.372||14||1:31.067||15|
|20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas-Ferrari||No Time||20||1:32.344||20||1:30.262||8|
|24||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1:32.608||14||1:31.615||17||1:31.374||13|
|27||Nico Hülkenberg||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1:33.034||16||1:31.615||16||1:31.424||18|
|55||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||Ferrari||1:31.139||4||1:30.320||3||1:30.009||4|
|77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1:31.084||3||1:30.832||9||1:30.030||5|
There was a red flag early in the session involving Latifi where he lost control and slid out at Turn 11 and rested at Turn 13. At the end of the session, Hamilton had a shock exit out in Q1 down in P16. Tsunoda did not set a time due to a cooling system issue (unrelated to fuel system issues of the last GP), but will need a rules exception from race control if he will compete in the race on Sunday since he did not satisfy the 107% rule. Hamilton and Tsunoda thus joined Albon, Hulkenberg and Latifi out of Q1, the seven-time champion out in Q1 for the first time since the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Highlight of Q2 was Mick Schumacher's massive accident which caused a red flag interrupting the session which lasted over 30 minutes. He was seen conscious and taken to the medical center for further evaluation. Ricciardo was handed a three-place grid penalty by the stewards for impeding Ocon on his flying lap.
Out of the session were Norris, Ricciardo, Zhou, Schumacher and Stroll. Haas later announced that Schumacher would not be starting the race as a precaution.
The Ferraris looked set to achieve a front row lockout with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, Jr. in P1 and P2, respectively. It would have been Ferrari's first 1-2 grid start since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix. However, at the last minute, Sergio Pérez came up with a crushing denial for the Ferrari team when Pérez set a time only 0.025 seconds faster than Leclerc, taking his maiden career pole, while his team-mate Verstappen settled in 4th after struggling. Hamilton's team-mate Russell made it P6 for the highest-starting Mercedes-engined car for the race.
The full qualifying results for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||6||1:29.705||2||1:28.924||1||1:28.200||1|
|3||55||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||Ferrari||1||1:28.855||4||1:28.686||3||1:28.402||3|
|4||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||2||1:28.928||3||1:28.945||4||1:28.461||4|
|8||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||5||1:29.295||6||1:29.404||8||1:29.183||8|
|13||24||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||10||1:29.978||13||1:29.819||12|
|15||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||15||1:30.256||15||1:31.009||13|
|18||27||Nico Hülkenberg||Aston Martin-Mercedes||18||1:30.543||17|
|20||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-RBPT||20||No Time||DNS‡|
|107% Time: 1:35.074|
- Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
- * Ricciardo received a three-place grid penalty for impeding Ocon at Turn 9 during Q2.
- † Schumacher withdrew following his accident during Q2.
- ‡ Tsunoda was permitted to start but had an engine failure during a reconnaissance lap.
|20|| 22. |
The race was started at 20:00 local time on 27 March and lasted for 50 laps. Yuki Tsunoda's car suffered a power unit issue on the way to the grid, preventing him from starting the race. Pérez initially led from pole position ahead of Leclerc, Verstappen, and Sainz for 14 laps. On lap 15, Nicholas Latifi retired after hitting the wall, which brought out the safety car and occurred just after Pérez made a pitstop; Leclerc and Verstappen were able to make their pit stops under safety car conditions, allowing them to rejoin in front of Pérez, who illegally passed Sainz, who had also pitted and came out ahead of him, and had to give back position when race resumed.
During much of the race, the midfield was close; there was a hard-fought battle between Alpine's Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, which ended after Ocon was given orders to hold position. On laps 35 and 36, Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, and Valtteri Bottas all retired within moments of each other due to unrelated mechanical issues. Alexander Albon also failed to finish following a collision with Lance Stroll on lap 47, but Albon was classified as he had completed over 90% of the total race distance. On laps 42–43, Leclerc and Verstappen started a DRS battle, which was won by Verstappen to take the lead by lap 46, as Leclerc could not keep him out of DRS after his tyres cooled down when a virtual safety car was called out on lap 37; as race direction declared the pit lane closed until race resumed, Lewis Hamilton was precluded from a time-advantage pit, dropping him from 6th to 12th. Yellow flags on turn 1 after Albon and Stroll's incident precluded Leclerc for a DRS offensive and Verstappen won the race, with Sainz completing the podium.
After the race, Kevin Magnussen, Sainz, and Pérez were investigated for failure to slow down after yellow flags; however, no penalties were handed out. It was Verstappen's first win of the season and 21st overall. It was also Hamilton's 180th race start with Mercedes, surpassing Michael Schumacher for most started races with a single team.
The full results for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||50||1:24:19.293||4||25|
|4||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||50||+10.800||1||12|
|11||24||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||50||+1:22.215||12|
|12||27||Nico Hülkenberg||Aston Martin-Mercedes||50||+1:31.742||17|
|13||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||49||+1 Lap||13|
|Ret||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||36||Engine||8|
|Ret||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine-Renault||35||Power unit||7|
|Ret||3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren-Mercedes||35||Power unit||14|
|DNS||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-RBPT||0||Power unit||19|
|W||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas-Ferrari||0||Accident in Q2||0|
- † Albon retired due to damaging his car from colliding with Stroll, but his race was classified since he completed more than 90% race distance.
- 180th race for Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes, surpassing Michael Schumacher's record for the most races started in a single constructor.
- Maiden pole position for Sergio Pérez.
- Perez becomes the first Mexican driver to start from pole position. He also broke Mark Webber's record for securing his first pole position after the most race starts at 215 races.
- 7th consecutive year with at least one win for Red Bull
- 76th win for Red Bull
- Maiden pole and race win for Red Bull Powertrains Limited.
While both Leclerc, Sainz and the Scuderia maintained their top positions on the leaderboard, Verstappen's win helped him leap to third in the drivers' standings and brought Red Bull to third in the constructors' standings one point behind Mercedes.
Only point-scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- Luke Smith (28 Feb 2022). "Saudi Arabia outlines Jeddah F1 track changes for 2022 race". motorsport.com (Motorsport Network). https://us.motorsport.com/f1/news/saudi-arabia-outlines-jeddah-f1-track-changes-for-2022-race/8571695/. Retrieved 23 Mar 2022.
- 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Entry List (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile.
- Noble, Jonathan. "F1 awaiting information on oil refinery attacks in Jeddah". Motorsport Network. https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/f1-awaiting-information-on-oil-refinery-explosion-in-jeddah/9313362/. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
- "FP1: Championship leader Leclerc fastest over Verstappen in opening Saudi Arabian practice session". Formula 1. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.fp1-championship-leader-leclerc-fastest-over-verstappen-in-opening-saudi.7EziU63thbfrVK3nvCcfSa.html. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
- "FP2: Leclerc goes fastest in second practice before hitting barrier". Formula 1. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.fp2-leclerc-goes-fastest-in-second-practice-before-hitting-barrier.1C7NxgFvMJFDhux1RGKnyn.html. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
- "FP3: Leclerc leads Verstappen by 0.033s in final practice at Jeddah". Formula 1. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.fp3-leclerc-leads-verstappen-by-0-033s-in-final-practice-at-jeddah.76agjgRhCJz31o8CEJScoo.html. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
- "2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Practice 1 Results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 25 Mar 2022. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2022/races/1125/saudi-arabia/practice-1.html. Retrieved 25 Mar 2022.
- "2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Practice 2 Results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 25 Mar 2022. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2022/races/1125/saudi-arabia/practice-2.html. Retrieved 25 Mar 2022.
- "2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Practice 3 Results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 26 Mar 2022. https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2022/races/1125/saudi-arabia/practice-3.html. Retrieved 26 Mar 2022.
- "Perez edges out Ferraris for sensational maiden pole position in Saudi Arabia qualifying". Formula 1®. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.perez-edges-out-ferraris-for-sensational-maiden-pole-position-in-saudi.74Bqte6fhTu1822iI1dufq.html. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
- "2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Qualifying Result" (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2022), accessed on 26 Mar 2022
- FIA Decision: File:2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Decision - Car 47 - Withdrawal.pdf
- FIA Decision: File:2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Decision - Car 22 - failing to set a time in qualifying.pdf
- Maher, Thomas (27 March 2022). "Tsunoda out ahead of Saudi Arabian GP on nightmare weekend". https://racingnews365.com/tsunoda-out-ahead-of-saudi-arabian-gp-on-nightmare-weekend. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
- Boxall-Legge, Jake; Cobb, Haydn; White, Megan (27 March 2022). "Live: F1 Saudi Arabian GP commentary and updates". https://www.autosport.com/f1/live-text/f1-saudi-arabia-gp-live-commentary-and-updates-fp1-fp2-1113262/1113262/. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- "Latifi drives car into wall again, end of race for him". 27 March 2022. https://www.gpblog.com/en/news/107276/latifi-drives-car-into-wall-again-end-of-race-for-him.html. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
- Savage, Will (28 March 2022). "Saudi Arabia Grand Prix 2022 results: Verstappen edges out Leclerc in thrilling duel". https://www.sportingnews.com/us/motorsport/news/formula-1-live-results-highlights-saudi-arabia-grand-prix/ovp3eo6l1xkshodrylgeahil. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
- Collantine, Keith; Cottingham, Claire (28 March 2022). "Unhappy Sainz wants to know why FIA 'didn't allow' earlier position swap with Perez". https://www.racefans.net/2022/03/28/unhappy-sainz-wants-to-know-why-fia-didnt-allow-earlier-position-swap-with-perez/. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- Mitchell, Scott (28 March 2022). "Perez 'mess' that FIA created still rankles for Sainz". https://the-race.com/formula-1/perez-mess-that-fia-created-still-rankles-for-sainz/. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- Mitchell, Scott (28 March 2022). "Alpine only has one regret about ferocious Ocon/Alonso fight". https://the-race.com/formula-1/alpine-only-has-one-regret-about-ferocious-ocon-alonso-fight/. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- Anderson, Gary; Beer, Matt; Cozens, Jack; Mitchell, Scott; Straw, Edd (28 March 2022). "Our verdict on Verstappen vs Leclerc and DRS games". https://the-race.com/formula-1/our-verdict-on-verstappen-vs-leclerc-and-drs-games/. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- Benson, Andrew (28 March 2022). "Saudi Arabian GP: A burgeoning rivalry between Charles Leclerc & Max Verstappen". BBC Sport. https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/60896023.
- Hughes, Mark (28 March 2022). "How Verstappen solved the tyre puzzle to win in Saudi Arabia". https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.how-verstappen-solved-the-tyre-puzzle-to-win-in-saudi-arabia.4YYvhiqKUbihL28Z8qEhsj.html. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- Takle, Abhishek (27 March 2022). "World champion Verstappen snatches first win of the season". Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/verstappen-wins-saudi-arabian-grand-prix-2022-03-27/.
- "Hamilton makes more history despite woeful weekend as Verstappen celebrates landmark". 28 March 2022. https://www.gpfans.com/en/f1-news/78907/hamilton-makes-more-history-despite-woeful-weekend-as-verstappen-celebrates-landmark/.
- 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Race Result, https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2022/races/1125/saudi-arabia/race-result.html, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2022), accessed on 20 Mar 2022)
|V T E||Saudi Arabian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Jeddah Corniche Circuit (2021–present)|
|Races||2021 • 2022|
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