Event: Saudi Arabia F1 Grand Prix
Track: Jeddah Street Circuit

Warm-up lap starts at: 20:30 Local | 18:30 CET | 17:30 UK | 09:30 LA | 01:30 Tokio

Max Verstappen almost got pole for the first ever Saudi Arabian F1 GP. If the Dutchman made a better turn 27 he probably would have snatched pole from his title rival Lewis Hamilton. The British driver did everything right and scored his 103rd F1 career pole position for tomorrow's race.

His teammate Valtteri Bottas made a perfect day for Mercedes by being second. Both drivers will start from front row for the 82nd time. Below you can see the start grid for the 2021 Saudi Arabian Formula one grand prix.

F1 Starting Grid 2021 Saudi Arabian GP

PosNoDriverTeamLap TimePole gapTyres
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:27,511🟡M
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1:27,622+0,111s🟡M
333Max VerstappenRed Bull1:27,653+0,142s🟡M
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:28,054+0,543s🟡M
511Sergio PérezRed Bull1:28,123+0,612s🟡M
610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1:28,125+0,614s🟡M
74Lando NorrisMcLaren1:28,180+0,669s🔴S
822Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1:28,442+0,931s🟡M
931Esteban OconAlpine1:28,647+1,136s🟡M
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo1:28,754+1,243s🟡M
113Daniel RicciardoMcLaren1:28,668+1,157sFree
127Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo1:28,885+1,374sFree
1314Fernando AlonsoAlpine1:28,920+1,409sFree
1463George RussellWilliams1:29,054+1,543sFree
1555Carlos SainzFerrari1:53,652+26,141sFree
166Nicholas LatifiWilliams1:29,177+1,666sFree
175Sebastian VettelAston Martin1:29,198+1,687sFree
1818Lance StrollAston Martin1:29,368+1,857sFree
1947Mick SchumacherHaas1:29,464+1,953sFree
209Nikita MazepinHaas1:30,473+2,962sFree

Possible 2021 Saudi Arabian F1 GP Race Strategies

The 50-lap Saudi Arabia Grand Prix should be a one-stopper. The fastest one-stopper should be from P Zero Yellow medium C3 to White hard C2, which the majority of drivers look set to select – as can be seen by nearly all the frontrunners who chose to get through Q2 on the medium compound. Starting on the medium gives more options as it leaves the door open to either a one or a two-stopper, and it also enables drivers to run a relatively long first stint, with a wide pit stop window. An alternative is a soft to hard strategy, which is just as quick on paper but might need a little bit more management, depending on the car.

A two-stopper is distinctly slower, but the fastest should be using all the compounds: one stint on the medium, followed by one on the hard and the last on soft.
However, it might not be as straightforward as that. With Jeddah being brand new circuit, there are still a number of unknown factors to consider: and one of them might be the seemingly high probability of a safety car – as is the case at any street circuit with little run-off area. If that's the case, then it could make a 'free' pit stop possible.

4 Topics to focus on during the 2021 Saudi Arabian F1 GP

  1. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position on the P Zero Red soft tyre, setting an inaugural track record of 1m27.511s: very close to the simulated pole time of 1m27.150s.
  2. Hamilton will start the race on the P Zero Yellow medium tyres tomorrow, having used these to set his fastest time in Q2. This was the most popular choice for the Q2 session, with nine of the top 10 drivers on the grid starting on this compound in order to target a one-stopper. Five drivers ran the soft in Q2, but only McLaren's Lando Norris set his fastest time on this compound.
  3. The track offered plenty of grip from start to finish, with a good degree of evolution during the course of qualifying, as the rapid times on the medium tyre in Q2 proved.
  4. Conditions throughout qualifying were similar to how they had been in free practice, with around 30 degrees ambient and on track, remaining consistent throughout the session.

F1 Starting Grid 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Mario Isola - Pirelli's Head of F1 and Car Racing said: "With this being the second-longest lap of the season, the teams and drivers had a relatively limited window of opportunity to get it right, in terms of preparing for a flying lap. The medium tyre was favoured by nearly everyone in Q2, with Lando Norris being the only driver to start on the soft in the top 10. It's going to be fascinating to see what he can do, surrounded by so many cars starting on mediums.

The two fastest strategies on paper are medium to hard or soft to hard, but the latter needs a bit more careful management. So we expect the majority of drivers to target a one-stopper but there are many unknown elements that could influence the strategy." Despite the length of the lap the margins were incredibly close, with 10 drivers covered by just a few tenths of a second on this brand new circuit."

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12 F1 Fan comments on “F1 Starting Grid 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

  1. james christopher

    On a tight road course with no runoff like this you must leave a small margin for error and Max disregarded this completely. Obvious what was going to happen on that lap.

  2. shroppyfly

    I suspect due to the nature of the track, comms with the drivers esp during quali is more limited , and so will be checking your steering wheel for a delta time enabling him to see he was up and ease off, either that, or he thought go big or go home, either way all hell need is a 2nd place and on we go to the finale.
    Id usually watch the re run on c4 a few hours after the race BUT today ill be listening to internet radio live coverage

    • Adrian Roscher

      so much for your hopes - two safety cars, two red flags, 3 standing starts, 3 virtual safety cars, not one but two instances where Max showed greater attachments than Lewis and was unfairly told to yield, the second time Lewis clumsily runs into him trying to time the DRS zone and then a completely undeserved 5 sec penalty for Max - sounds like Masi put a lot of $$ on Lewis to take the championship somewhere....

        • Adrian Roscher

          of course Max would've braked and downshifted to slow down, as he did, in order to let whiny lil' Lewis past, as instructed. Baby Lewie apparently wasn't told in time, arguable got confused or arguably didn't want to pass before the DRS line, and, like an idiot, ran right into the back of Max. And is rewarded for his stupidity with a win. F1 is becoming a real farce.


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