Charles Leclerc suffers a massive 170mph crash that killed his Ferrari in practice ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton turns fire on title rival Max Verstappen by taking fastest on the brand new track
- Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in Friday practice for the Saudi Arabian GP
- Session was the headline of Charles Leclerc, huge crash in his Ferrari late on
- The championship race comes down to the last two events of the season
- Hamilton has increased the pressure on his bitter rival Max Verstappen
- He has won the last two races to finish within eight points of the title leader
Lewis Hamilton’s ascent to a possible record of the eighth world title in Formula 1 continued by setting the fastest time in Friday practice for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver has won the last two races and finished eight points behind championship leader Max Verstappen en route to the last two Grands Prix of the year.
However, the title fight was overshadowed during Friday’s second practice session when Charles Leclerc crashed heavily for Ferrari in the closing minutes.
Charles Leclerc suffered a massive crash that crushed his Ferrari late in practice
Fortunately, the 24-year-old showed no sign of any serious injury when he jumped from the wreckage
After replacing his steering wheel, Leclerc assessed the massive damage to his Ferrari
The Monegasque driver lost traction at the back of his Ferrari and swerved into a fast left-handed corner 22 just before 170mph, sending a spin towards the Tecpro barriers that cushioned his impact when he collided with them. of the circuit.
Leclerc apologized for his mistake on team radio before a check-up at the medical center released him back to his team.
Fortunately, the 24-year-old suffered no apparent injuries as he climbed out of his wrecked Ferrari, although the extent of damage to his car is not yet fully known to his team, who are now expected to work all night long to repair it. . the.
Hamilton was fastest in both sessions of the day, two tenths ahead of fourth, just ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas with Verstappen about two tenths behind.
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Friday practice for Mercedes in Saudi Arabia
Hamilton has set the bar high in Saudi Arabia, which is hosting an F1 Grand Prix for the first time
SAUDI ARAB GP – FP2 TIMES
1 Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1: 29.018
2 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:29.079
3 Gasly (Fra) AlphaTauri 1:29.099
4 Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:29.213
5 Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:29.441
6 Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:29.555
7 Sainz (Spa) Ferrari. 1:29.589
8 Tsunoda (Jpn) AlphaTauri 1:29.597
9 Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:29.768
10 Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:29.772
11 Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:29.968
12 Norris (GB) McLaren 1:30.004
13 Giovinazzi (Ita) A. Romeo 1:30.110
14 Raikkonen (Fin) A. Romeo 1:30.276
15 Hike (Can) Aston Martin 1:30.442,
16 Vettel (Germany) Aston Martin 1:30.502
17 Russell (GB) Williams 1:30.506
18 Schumacher (Ger) Haas 1:30.652
19 Latifi (Can) Williams 1:31.039
20 Mazepin (Raf) Hare 1:31.629
Hamilton led the way on Wednesday, speaking out against human rights issues and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community in Saudi Arabia, admitting that he did not enjoy racing in the country.
But he was certainly home on the track on Friday, as with a time of one minute 29.786 seconds he beat Verstappen by just 0.056 seconds, with Valtteri Bottas’ second Mercedes third in the first session.
Workers were still preparing the new venue until the wee hours of Thursday night, with a planned ribbon-opening ceremony to open the track was immediately canceled as the finishing touches were put on.
The Formula 2 practice session also started late due to a minor “operational problem” before the F1 cars reached the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the first time at 4.30pm local time.
The inaugural race in Jeddah is the penultimate event in a thrilling championship race
Hamilton also chose to wear proud colors on his helmet to draw attention to important matters
As the track was untested and both qualifying and Sunday’s race took place in the evening, this session was more of an outing for the drivers.
Nevertheless, Hamilton will be happy to top the timesheets, with Pierre Gasly fourth ahead of AlphaTauri and Antonio Giovinazzi’s Aston Martin fifth.
Ferrari finished sixth and seventh in the form of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, while Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 10.