F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton labels car 'undrivable' whilst Perez takes pole -Schumacher crash updates

MICK SCHUMACHER has confirmed with fans that he is 'OK' after being involved in a horrifying 170mph crash during qualifying.

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.

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.

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

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

  • Alex Cole

    Schumacher 'OK' after horror crash

    Mick Schumacher has told fans he is "OK" after his horror 170mph crash in Saudi Grand Prix qualifying, writes TOM SHEEN.

    The Haas driver, 23, will not be racing after the terrifying smash left his car split in two.

    But much to the relief of fans all over the world, the German later took to social media to put their minds at ease.

    He wrote on Twitter: "Hi everyone, I just wanted to say that I’m OK.

    "Thank you for the kind messages. The car felt great, we’ll come back stronger."

    Haas also confirmed that Schumacher would not be able to race in Sunday's GP.

  • Alex Cole

    Top 10 – Perez pips the Ferrari partners

    A reminder of the top 10 grid places today as Sergio Perez is on pole for the very first time.

    1) Perez

    2) Leclerc

    3) Sainz

    4) Verstappen

    5) Ocon

    6) Russell

    7) Alonso

    8) Bottas

    9) Gasly

    10) Magnussen

  • Alex Cole

    Hamilton : 'car was undrivable'

    Lewis Hamilton had a 16th place finish in the Saudi Arabia GP qualifying session on Saturday.

    The seven-time world champion was miles off the pace and shockingly eliminated in Q1, writes SIMON RICE.

    Initially it was unclear exactly why Hamilton was so far off the pace, with team-mate George Russell managing to qualify sixth.

    Credit: Getty

    Wolff explained: “We tried something on Lewis’ car that did not work. He had zero grip on the rear axle. Time to wake up for us.”

    Hamilton, who will start 15th in today's race due to Mick Schumacher not taking part, said "so sorry guys" over the team radio after his Q1 elimination.

    Elaborating further on his issues he said: “It was something in the set-up that was looking good in FP3. Tried to progress in a similar direction and maybe we went too far.

    “The car was just undrivable – so nervous.”

    Worryingly for Mercedes, those hoping to see Hamilton fight his way towards the front in today's race may be disappointed.

    The 37-year-old said: “Well, I’ve got the same car as I had in qualifying, so I don’t anticipate moving that far forwards. But I’ll give it everything.”

  • Alex Cole

    Toto-ly unacceptable

    Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was livid after qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, calling Lewis Hamilton's 16th place finish "totally unacceptable", writes SIMON RICE.

    The seven-time world champion was miles off the pace and shockingly eliminated in Q1.

    It was the first time Hamilton had been eliminated at the first stage since Brazil 2017, and his first without a crash since 2009.

    What made the dreadful qualifying session all the more brutal is that Hamilton won in Jeddah only back in December – highlighting how far Mercedes have fallen in just a few months.

    Wolff, 50, told Motorsport Week: “I always love competition. We had a really strong run of eight years leading the pack – not always, but we kind of managed our way into the lead – but this time feels a bit like 2013 when we just weren’t up to the speed of the Red Bulls and probably also the Ferraris.

    “We kept fighting and this is how I feel at the moment – we need to fight.

    “It’s certainly totally unacceptable where we are on performance. We are third on the road, and sometimes not even that like today. It’s just not an option to stay where we are.”

    It’s certainly totally unacceptable where we are on performance.

    Toto WolffMotorsport Week

  • Alex Cole

    Today's race information

    Race – 6pm (9pm local time).

    The F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is live on Sky Sports F1.

    You can stream all the action live with a Sky Go account or the Sky Sports app.

    Non-Sky Sports subscribers can still watch the whole race day with a Now TV Day Pass from £9.99.

  • Joshua Jones

    Good morning to F1 fans

    Sergio Perez's stunning first pole ever for today's Saudi GP is just a sideshow in Jeddah amid more race controversy and Mick Schumacher's 170mph crash.

    F1 drivers were overwhelmingly AGAINST competing following safety fears over the track and Friday's terrorist rocket attack just six miles away.

    And Lewis Hamilton amazingly will start only 16th on the grid as he was eliminated from qualifying yesterday after just one stage.

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “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.

    “Everyone’s opinions matter but we want to avoid a situation where we did not know if the race was on or not.”

    Drivers met for four hours yesterday morning to discuss their worries due to fears the race could be targeted by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen.

    And after the go-ahead was confirmed, concerns about the track itself escalated due to Schumacher's horror crash.

    The Haas driver, 23, confirmed he was "OK" after being airlifted to hospital – but his car was split in two.

    Perez then stole pole ahead of Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – with his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen fourth.

    Mexican Perez admitted his surprise and claimed he could "do a thousand laps and not beat" his peerless ride.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Ferrari aces 'still concerned' over racing in Jeddah

    Ferrari's Mattia Binotto admitted his two drivers were NOT comfortable with racing in Jeddah, writes BEN HUNT.

    When asked by SunSport if his drivers were fully-behind the race going ahead as planned, he said: "I don't think we said that they are 100 percent happy and fully relaxed.

    "I think they are still concerned but they are listening to the assurance that we give them, the understanding of the importance to stay here and somehow try to race because it's the best choice we can do."

    The drivers were also briefed on the security measures that were in place to prevent a similar drone attack on the circuit. And the Ferrari boss said that cancelling the race and fleeing the country was not an option.

    Binotto added: "The drivers met together and certainly they were concerned. After the facts of Friday, no doubt all of us were concerned.

    "The concerns need to be translated into considerations and discussions, and as we as teams had assurance from F1 and from the Saudi government authorities and security agencies that everything would have been safe and under control.

    "Leaving the country would simply not have been the right choice.
    "I think there was no right reason to leave the country after the facts that happened and with the assurance that we get."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Crash victim Schumacher says he's 'OK'

    Mick Schumacher has told fans he is "OK" after his horror 170mph crash in Saudi Grand Prix qualifying, writes TOM SHEEN.

    The Haas driver, 23, will not be racing after the terrifying smash left his car split in two.

    But much to the relief of fans all over the world, the German later took to social media to put their minds at ease.

    He wrote on Twitter: "Hi everyone, I just wanted to say that I’m OK.

    "Thank you for the kind messages. The car felt great, we’ll come back stronger."

    Haas also confirmed that Schumacher would not be able to race in Sunday's GP.

    Schumacher, son of seven-time worlds champ Michael, lost control and smashed into a wall during Q2 at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Hamilton: We work together

    Lewis Hamilton was quizzed about the potential boycott by F1 drivers and said: "I'm not here to comment on that. We work together as a group. We discussed it and made a decision as a sport."

    It was a similar story for pole-sitter, Sergio Perez, who said he had feared for his own safety when learning of the missile attacks just six miles away.

    He added: "We were concerned about our safety and also of the mechanics and engineers.

    "As drivers, there is only so much we know and it was important we got together. We felt it was the right thing was to go ahead and race."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Drivers tight-lipped

    The drivers remained tight-lipped about their conversations last night amid reports they were BULLIED into taking part in today's qualifying, which was overshadowed by Mick Schumacher's huge crash, writes BEN HUNT.

    However, SunSport understands that after agreeing to get Sunday's race over the line, the drivers will soon meet with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali to express their concerns over racing in Saudi Arabia.

    But the Italian played down the threat of a strike and added: "I think the word boycott is not the right word because we are not here to be here in two categories. We are here as one family as F1.

    "It is about putting in place all the things that have to be considered where is the line?"

  • Ian Tuckey

    Drivers were AGAINST Saudi GP go-ahead

    F1 drivers were unanimously AGAINST racing in tomorrow's Saudi Grand Prix and needed serious convincing to take part, writes BEN HUNT.

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "Everybody is free to take a decision and if a team members 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.

    "The drivers are stakeholders in the sport as are the teams and why everyone's opinions matter but we want to avoid a situation like yesterday where we did not know if the race was on or not."

    The shock developments happened here in the Jeddah paddock early on Saturday morning where drivers were locked in a meeting that lasted more than four hours.

    It came after a fuel depot in the city was hit by a missile launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen.

    The attack happened midway through practice for the Saudi GP and heightened fears that the race would also be targeted.

    Drivers stood still dressed in their race suits debating the issue before their respective team bosses, F1 and local officials stepped in to persuade them otherwise.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Hamilton feared crashing in 'nervous' car

    Lewis Hamilton endured arguably his worst qualifying performance since the 2009 British GP and says he was lucky he too did not end up in the wall, writes BEN HUNT.

    However, he simply did not have the speed or the handling and was knocked out in Q1 and will start in 16th place.

    He said: "It's a wonder I wasn't one of the drivers in the wall.

    "I just struggled with the balance of the car. I didn't have any rear end. I couldn't go through the corners without the back snapping out.

    "I just didn't feel the car beneath me so I struggled with the balance. The car felt very nervous.

    Everyone is working as hard as they can and trying to stay positive.

    "But I don't anticipate moving very far forwards but I'll give it everything."

    Carlos Sainz, who will start in third place, also says discussions need to be made about making safety improvements to the track.

    He said: "Is it worth it having that big accident when you can push out the walls and have more run-off? It is a discussion we need to have because it is on the limit."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Perez surprised to land superb first pole

    Sergio Perez hailed his first F1 pole position in 215 attempts.

    The Red Bull man said: "I can do 1000 laps and not beat that one! We did not expect too much and we were focusing mainly on the race.

    "It was difficult this qualifying because we stopped in Q2 and it is difficult to keep your focus to make sure you do that lap.

    "But if I can get pole here, I can get it anywhere in the world."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Schumacher in hospital after crash as debate over GP hots up

    Mick Schumacher was airlifted to hospital after suffering a high-speed crash – less than 24 hours after the Saudi Arabian GP was plunged into doubt following a missile attack, writes BEN HUNT.

    Drivers spent over four hours deliberating whether to take part in this race after a fuel depot was hit just six miles away by Houthis rebels.

    But it was the on-track safety that was the focus last night, as this race – dubbed 'the fastest street circuit in the world', comes with extreme danger.

    The Jeddah Corniche Circuit features long straights, little-run off areas and concrete walls.

    Throughout Saturday, the track action was frequently brought to a stop for crashes. But none more spectacular than Schuamcher's, the son of seven-time world champ, Michael.

    Mick, who this week turned 23, ploughed into the wall at around 150mph, destroying his Haas car in the process.

    Medics were immediately deployed along with the ambulance and, after being extracted from the wreckage, he was sent to the medical centre for checks.

    His Haas team confirmed that the German was conscious and had phoned his mum Corinna to let her know he was ok.

    He was then transferred on a stretcher to a waiting medical helicopter.
    Shrouded by a green blanket, he was then taken to  King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, for precautionary checks.

    After a 57 minute delay, Sergio Perez took his first pole position of his F1 career in 215 attempts.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Per-fect achievement

    F1 media chiefs labelled Sergio Perez's pole-clincher a 'sensational lap'.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Leclerc admits shock as Perez pips him

    Charles Leclerc admitted he was 'definitely not expecting that' as he saw Sergio Perez storm to pole in the final minute.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Sergio: It's 1 in 1,000!

    Sergio Perez claimed he could 'do a thousand laps and not beat' his peerless pole clincher for tomorrow's Saudi GP.

    The Red Bull ace added: "What a lap!"

  • Ian Tuckey

    Perez: 'What a lap'!

    Red Bull's Sergio Perez clocked 1:28.200 as his astonishing final lap beat the flying Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to land his FIRST EVER POLE.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Top 10 – as Perez pips Ferraris

    1) Perez

    2) Leclerc

    3) Sainz

    4) Verstappen

    5) Ocon

    6) Russell

    7) Alonso

    8) Bottas

    9) Gasly

    10) Magnussen

  • Ian Tuckey

    Top four

    Perez, Leclerc, Sainz, Verstappen.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Yes! ***! Yes! ***!'

    Sergio Perez was ecstatic to grab his first ever pole – as he exclaimed on the radio…

  • Ian Tuckey

    Perez on pole

    An incredible last lap powers Sergio Perez to pole above the Ferraris.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Leclerc scorches

    Charles Leclerc pips Carlos Sainz – but Sergio Perez seems to have nicked pole!

  • Ian Tuckey

    Sainz struggling to hold off Leclerc for pole

    The Ferraris look set for a one-two…

  • Ian Tuckey

    Q3 – first run positions

    1) Sainz

    2) Leclerc

    3) Perez

    4) Ocon

    5) Alonso

    6) Verstappen

    7) Gasly

    8) Bottas

    9) Magnussen

    10) Russell

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