F1 Driver Form: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Only Verstappen has taken multiple podium finishes at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, seven current drivers have scored in both races here and Hamilton recorded a rare Q1 exit at the track last year. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix!


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.

In 2022, Verstappen was embroiled in a race-long duel with Charles Leclerc. He was out-qualified by his team-mate, lining up fourth on the grid. He moved up to third in the early stages after passing Carlos Sainz on the opening lap. Verstappen maintained position until his pit stop, where he was able to move up to second place. He then hunted down Leclerc, with the duo battling for the lead in an intense battle. Verstappen came out on top, taking his first win at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

🇲🇽 Sergio PEREZ

Sergio Perez crashed out of the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix shortly after the first restart. He qualified in fifth place for the race, two positions behind his team-mate. In 2022, Perez secured the first pole position of his F1 career at the track. He maintained his lead in the opening stages of the race and would have been in a better position to challenge for the win, if not for a poorly timed Safety Car period around the time of his pit stop. He finished the race in fourth place.

🇲🇨 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.

It was a different story in Free Practice in 2022, as Lelcerc topped the timesheets in all three sessions – though he did scrape the wall. After qualifying on the front row, Leclerc battled with Max Verstappen for the race win – but the Red Bull came out on top.

🇪🇸 Carlos SAINZ

Carlos Sainz had a couple of off-track moments in qualifying in 2021 at Jeddah Corniche Circuit and qualified only 15th. He went on to make up seven places in the race, finishing eighth.

Sainz had an easier time at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, though he did lose track time in Free Practice 2 after a scrape with the barriers. He started the race in third and finished in the same position, securing his first podium and points at the track.


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.

Struggling with porpoising on his return to the track three months later, Hamilton recorded a rare Q1 exit, qualifying in 16th place. Hamilton made progress in the race and ran as high a sixth before making his pit stop. He ended up scoring a single point with a tenth place finish.

🇬🇧 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 14th on the grid.

While his team-mate was eliminated in Q1 last year, Russell was able to reach Q3 on his first appearance at Jeddah Corniche Circuit with Mercedes. Starting from sixth on the grid, Russell made up one place in the race – overtaking Esteban Ocon. He finished fifth, scoring his first points at the venue.

🇫🇷 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.

Ocon scored points again in 2022, finishing in sixth place. He lost one position from where he started, having been overtaken in the race by George Russell. Ocon is yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

🇫🇷 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. Gasly reached Q3 again in 2022, qualifying in ninth place. He made up one position from where he started, scoring another four points at the track.

🇬🇧 Lando NORRIS

Lando Norris has out-qualified his team-mate on both appearances at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. While he qualified seventh in 2021, he narrowly missed out on Q3 in 2022 (by just 0.033 seconds) and qualified 11th.

In 2021, he finsihed the race behind his team-mate, losing three positions over the course of the Grand Prix and coming home in tenth place. In 2022, he made up places thanks to retirements for drivers in front of him – including his team-mate. Norris finished seventh following a hard-fought battle for sixth in the closing stages with Esteban Ocon.

🇦🇺 Oscar PIASTRI

Oscar Piastri has previously raced at Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Formula 2. He finished eighth in the first race of the weekend and won the other two races – including the shortened Feature Race, which took place over only five laps.

🇫🇮 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.

Bottas reached Q3 again at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and qualified in eighth place. He looked on course for more points at the track but retired midway through the race due to overheating issues.

🇨🇳 ZHOU Guanyu

Zhou Guanyu finished 11th on his first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix appearance in 2022. He qualified five positions behind his team-mate, exiting in Q2 and qualifying in 13th place.

Zhou also raced at Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Formula 2 in 2021. He recorded a best result of fourth place in the Feature Race. He finished 17th and eighth in the two Sprint Races.

🇪🇸 Fernando ALONSO

Fernando Alonso is yet to score a point at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He missed out on points and Q3 the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, finishing where he started, in 13th place. Last year, Alonso did reach Q3. Starting seventh, just behind team-mate Esteban Ocon, his race was memorable for side-by-side action with his fellow Alpine driver. The Spaniard ultimately retired from the race due to cooling issues.

🇨🇦 Lance STROLL

Lance Stroll exited in Q1 in Jeddah in 2021, qualifying in a lowly 18th place. He went on to finish just outside of the points in 11th. Stroll started where he finished in 2022. After out-qualifying his team-mate and reaching Q2, he finished the race in 13th place. He had been running in 11th before being hit by Alex Albon.


Kevin Magnussen did not race in Formula 1 in 2021, meaning that 2022 was his first appearance at Jeddah Corniche Circuit. The Haas driver reached Q3 on Saturday, qualifying in tenth place despite missing out on a lot of running on Friday through hydraulic issues in both practice session. Magnussen made up positions in the closing stages of the race, eventually finishing in ninth place.


Nico Hulkenberg made his first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, deputising for Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin. After qualifying 18th, Hulkenberg lined up 17th on the grid and finished the race in 12th place – one position ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll.


Yuki Tsunoda reached Q3 at the 2021 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 14th. He originally finished 13th but picked up a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Sebastian Vettel.

Tsunoda had a frustrating weekend at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Mechanical issues on Saturday meant he could not set a qualifying time, while further issues on Sunday saw him come to a stop on his way to the grid. He did not start the race.

🇳🇱 Nyck DE VRIES

This will be Nyck de Vries’ first appearance at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

🇹🇭 Alex ALBON

Having spent 2021 on the sidelines, 2022 marked Alex Albon’s first appearance at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. After qualifying 17th – two places ahead of his team-mate – Albon struggled to make progress in the race. He eventually retired after picking up damage in a collision with Lance Stroll, for which he received a three-place grid penalty for the following race.


Logan Sargeant raced at Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Formula 2 in both 2021 and 2022. He has failed to score in any of the five races he has competed in at the circuit.

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