While Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton duelled for the win at Jeddah Corniche Circuit last year, Esteban Ocon narrowly missed out on a podium finish. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix!
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen looked set to take pole position for the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a storming lap in the final moments of Q3. However, he crashed in the final corner and subsequently qualified third. Verstappen took the lead at the race’s second restart, overtaking both Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton ahead of him. A duel between Hamilton and Verstappen then ensued, in which the Dutchman overtook the Mercedes driver with a questionable move at Turn 1. Pre-empting a penalty, Verstappen was instructed to give the position back. In doing so, Hamilton ran into the back of the Red Bull. Verstappen later gave the position back again, before steaming past Hamilton once more at the next corner. Verstappen then received a 5-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Hamilton went on to overtake Verstappen on track, and the Red Bull driver ultimately finished 21 seconds behind the race winner.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez crashed out of the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix shortly after the first restart. He qualified in fifth place for last year’s race, two positions behind his team-mate.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton won the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from pole position. Jeddah Corniche Circuit became the 32nd different circuit at which Hamilton took pole and the 35th at which he had won. It was also the 35th circuit at which he scored a podium result.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell was eliminated from the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix just after the first restart, following a collision with Nikita Mazepin. Russell reached Q2 in qualifying and lined up fourteenth on the grid.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc suffered a crash at Turn 22 in Free Practice 2 for the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, bringing out the red flags. He went on to qualify in fourth place for the race and finished seventh – one position ahead of his team-mate.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz had a couple of off-track moments in qualifying last year at Jeddah Corniche Circuit and qualified only fifteenth. He went on to make up seven places in the race, finishing eighth.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo recorded a top five finish in Jeddah last year, finishing in fifth place. He just missed out on reaching Q3 for the race, qualifying in eleventh.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris out-qualified his team-mate at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, qualifying in seventh place. He went on to finish the race behind his team-mate, losing three positions over the course of the Grand Prix and coming home in tenth place.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso missed out on points and Q3 at last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He finished where he started, in thirteenth place.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
After originally qualifying ninth, Esteban Ocon lined up on pole position at the second restart of the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. From there he went on to finish fourth, narrowly missing out on a podium finish after being overtaken by Valtteri Bottas on the finish line.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly had a solid weekend at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He qualified in sixth place and finished the race where he started, picking up eight points.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda reached Q3 at last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He qualified two positions behind his team-mate, in eighth place. He lost six positions over the course of the Grand Prix, coming home in fourteenth. He originally finished thirteenth but picked up a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Sebastian Vettel.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel retired from the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after colliding with Yuki Tsunoda. It was a weekend to forget for the German, who was eliminated in Q1 after qualifying only seventeenth. Nevertheless, he qualified one position ahead of his team-mate.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll exited in Q1 in Jeddah last year, qualifying in a lowly eighteenth place. He went on to finish just outside of the points in eleventh.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Having spent 2021 on the sidelines, this will be Alex Albon’s first appearance at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
After qualifying in sixteenth place, Nicholas Latifi finished twelfth in the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas celebrated reaching Q3 for the 100th consecutive race at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He didn’t have the easiest of Saturdays though, after struggling with engine issues in Q1 and making light contact with Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo in Q2. After qualifying on the front row alongside his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Bottas finished on the podium, in third place. He overtook Esteban Ocon on the line for the final podium spot.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu raced at Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Formula 2 in 2021. He recorded a best result of fourth place in the Feature Race. He finished seventeenth and eighth in the two Sprint Races.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher was the first retiree from the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, crashing heavily into the barriers. He qualified ahead of his team-mate for the race, in nineteenth place.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen did not race in Formula 1 in 2021, meaning that this will be his first appearance at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.