F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix LIVE: Build-up as Hamilton starts 15th on the grid, Schumacher reveals he's OK after crash

DRIVERS are getting themselves ready for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after an ugly first two days of the event in Jeddah.

Mick Schumacher has confirmed with fans that he is 'OK' after being involved in a horrifying 170mph crash during qualifying and has shown up for the main race.

The whole paddock went quiet for what seemed like an eerie few minutes as the son of Michael was involved in a smash on turn 12 on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sergio Perez took pole after a superb lap, clocking 1min 28.2sec, with Charles Leclerc 0.025 sec behind, and Carlos Sainz another fifth of a second behind him.

And Lewis Hamilton limped OUT of qualifying after a miserable Q1, where he failed to make the cut, he starts 15th on the grid on Sunday.

The seven-time world champion was miles off the pace and even labelled his car as 'undrivable'.

  • Start time: 6pm UK
  • TV channel: Sky Sports F1 and Main Event
  • Live Stream: Now

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Follow all the action from Jeddah with our live blog below…

  • Etienne Fermie

    Lap 2 – Max into third

    Dutchman has immediately overtaken Carlos Sainz into third.

    The Spaniard is worth watching, after his car had to undergo late maintenance.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Lap 1 – perfect Perez start

    Mexican has gotten off to a perfect start, stretching his lead after starting on pole for the first time.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Lights out and away we go!

    We're underway in Jeddah!

  • Etienne Fermie

    Formation lap underway in Jeddah

    The action is now just moments away in Saudi Arabia…

  • Etienne Fermie

    Verstappen not keen on favours

    Red Bull star will start behind team-mate Sergio Perez, but will not be doing him any "favours".

    He told Sky before the race: "It's not doing a favour, we have to work together as a team and we just need to score as many points as possible."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Christian Horner insists Red Bulls 'equals'

    Horner has urged his men to "keep it clean" in Jeddah this evening.

    He told Sky Sports: "Absolutely, At this stage of the season.

    "I think the most important thing is they keep it clean, that’s all we’ve asked."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Yuki Tsunoda OUT of Saudi GP

    Japanese AlphaTauri driver has been forced to retire before the race has even begun.

    Tsunoda broke down on the way to the grid, and joins Mick Schumacher in not being able to take part this afternoon.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Toto Wolff lifts lid on Hamilton nightmare

    Mercedes chief has opened up on what went wrong for the Silver Arrows yesterday.

    He told Sky Sports: "It was a setup experiment that went wrong.

    "We hope it will work better. We have to see, normally we are a bit better in race trim, we were in Bahrain – it’s a bit of an unknown."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Lando Norris hoping to bounce back

    McLaren endured a nightmare start to the season last week in Bahrain, but Lando Norris isn't ruling out an improvement this time around.

    He told Sky Sports: "Many opportunities, it's a street circuit!"

  • Giacomo Pisa

    World champ ready and raring

    Now let's hear from the man himself Max Verstappen ahead of lights out.

    He tells Sky Sports: "Yeah I'm looking forward to it.

    "I think we have a good battle on our hands with the Ferrari's.

    "And yeah, we have good top speed and they have good cornering so let's see what works best."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    Verstappen Sr speaks

    Joe Verstappen, Max's dad, is backing his son to have a good race today.

    Verstappen Sr tells Sky Sports: "He's ready to rock."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    Charles talks ahead of lights out

    Here are the pre-race thoughts of Charles Leclerc – who starts in P2.

    He tells Sky Sports: "We are in the mix. There were no real problems with race pace so I imagine that's a good sign.

    "Now we just need to have a clean race which is very important on a track like this.

    "It's a very challenging race, a very long race and yeah let's try and do a great race."

  • Giacomo Pisa

    Verstappen a contender today

    Red Bull team principal has a simple message for whether Max Verstappen has a shot at victory today from back in P4.

    He says to Sky Sports: "He's absolutely still in it."

    There's not long to go now until we find out!

  • Giacomo Pisa

    Sainz problem update

    Sky Sports are reporting the problem to Carlos Sainz's car was wiring loom related.

    Engineers have been working for 40 minutes to try and get the problem fixed.

    But it seems like they've managed to to get everything sorted, with the Ferrari man now in the car and warming up on track.

  • Alex Terrell

    Odds for today's race from Betfair

    Here is how the bookies see today's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

    Betfair have Charles Leclerc as the favourite after last weekend's impressive run in Bahrain.

    • Charles Leclerc 7/4
    • Max Verstappen 11/4
    • Sergio Perez 3/1
    • Carlos Sainz 11/2
    • George Russell 33/1
    • Lewis Hamilton 40/1
    • Esteban Ocon 50/1
    • Giacomo Pisa

      Famous faces in Jeddah

      Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey is in the building for today's GP in Jeddah.

      Credit: Getty
    • Giacomo Pisa

      Problem found on Sainz's car

      Reports coming out of the paddock suggest Ferrari have found a problem with Carlos Sainz's car.

      But in good news for Ferrari fans it's claimed they are able to replace it.

      Things are being kept quiet as to exactly what the problem is though…

    • Giacomo Pisa

      Schumacher calls for "serious discussions"

      Mick Schumacher has spoken out after his horror crash yesterday, and claimed "serious discussions" are needed regarding the safety of the circuit in Jeddah.

      He told Sky Sports: "I feel alright, not too sore either. Just shows the safety of these cars these days.

      "To be able to walk away from this – 20 years ago, people wouldn’t have been able to do that – so thank you to everybody involved in the safety."

      Schumacher added: "I think there’s things we have to have a look at.

      "I don’t know what will happen in the future and we have to have a serious discussion about it."

    • Giacomo Pisa

      One hour to go…

      There's just one hour to go now until lights out in Jeddah!

      Remember Sergio Perez is on pole for Red Bull this week, ahead of last Sunday's winner Charles Leclerc.

      Carlos Sainz is in P3, with Max Verstappen back in P4.

    • Giacomo Pisa

      Max slams Saudi track

      Max Verstappen has slammed the Saudi Arabia's Grand Prix's "very, very dangerous" track after Mick Schumacher's horror crash in Q2.

      Speaking ahead of today's GP, the Red Bull star said: "Last year for me, personally, I was happy with how we went through the weekend in terms of crashes.

      "In some places, if you lose the car like today with Mick and you go flat out into the wall it is extremely painful and very, very dangerous.

      “Not only that, the straights are not entirely straight because they're all a bit blind.

      "I don't understand why you need to design the track [like this].

      "If it's going to be flat out just design it straight. It's just safer for everyone."

    • Alex Terrell

      Sports minister reacts to dissent from drivers

      Saudi Arabian authorities would have called off the Gulf kingdom's Formula One race if there had been any security threat to the event after an attack by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis on an oil storage facility near the track in Jeddah, the country's sports minister said.

      The Houthi group on Friday said it had launched attacks on Saudi energy facilities.

      One of the targets was a petroleum products distribution station owned by state-run oil giant Aramco located about 10km to the east of the track.

      The strike, which followed similar attacks last Sunday, raised questions about whether the race should go ahead.

      Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal told reporters: ”If there is a threat, then rest assured we will cancel the race, but there is no threat and thats what we discussed with everyone.

      "Of course, the security and safety for everyone is a bigger issue than just hosting a race, even if it is the size of Formula One, so the security of the city, the security of the kingdom is the top priority."

    • Alex Terrell

      Back on track

      Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and George Russell are all back at the racecourse in Saudi Arabia.

      Some conversations and some chilling out before the action begins at 6pm.

      Mick Schumacher is also back and looks raring to go, which is a relief to see for all F1 fans.

      Credit: Alamy
      Credit: Alamy
      Credit: Rex
    • Alex Cole

      Lew it all along

      Today marks a record for Lewis Hamilton.

      The Brit has the most Grand Prix starts with a single team – 180.

      Mercedes tweeted: "Record. Breaker.

      "Today marks Lewis Hamilton's 180th F1 Grand Prix with the team."

      Hamilton has won seven championships – six during this time with Mercedes.

    • Alex Terrell

      Drivers worried they'd be attack target

      Frightened F1 drivers were unanimously AGAINST racing in today's Saudi Grand Prix.

      And they were only persuaded to carry on after lengthy talks with team bosses and F1 chiefs.

      There are claims some felt BULLIED into competing in yesterday's qualifying, which was overshadowed by Haas ace Mick Schumacher's 170mph crash.

      Red Bull star Sergio Perez admitted that the drivers were “concerned about our safety" following Friday's shocking Houthi rebels' rocket attack on an oil depot just six miles from the circuit.

      Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "Everybody is free to take a decision and if a team member decides not to race, they are free to do so.

      "The drivers were pretty united in their initial discussions but then we were able to convince them the race was the best thing to do."

    • Alex Cole

      Hamilton was banned from talking to media

      Finnish newspaper Iltalehti says Lewish Hamilton was stopped from talking to reporters by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali after their decision to continue with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

      It is said that F1 drivers were overwhelmingly AGAINST competing following safety fears over the track and Friday’s terrorist rocket attack just six miles away.

      The Finnish reports claim: “Stefano Domenicali made sure Hamilton was not allowed in front of the microphones".

      After a disappointing qualifying session, Hamilton was asked his views on the car.

      He said: "I’m not here to comment on that. We worked together as a group, we all discussed and made a decision as a sport."

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