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Old 25 Mar 2022, 11:07 (Ref:4104211)   #1
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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022: Grand Prix Weekend Thread - Round 2

One race into 2022, Charles Leclerc is a championship leader for the first time and Ferrari lead the constructors' championship after a formidable 1-2 that was achieved after a close battle with Red Bull. Although it looks as though the Prancing Horse won't have it all its own way this year, the close attention it has paid to the new regulations has evidently paid off, and it has a stable, fast and reliable race car.

Likewise, Mercedes managed to be an achiever in Bahrain, although the term 'damage limitation' was chucked about by everyone. The team faces a race against time to solve their issues before it's too tardy for a title tilt. Hamilton was at his inimitable best, being around to pick up the podium pieces when Red Bull imploded, but nobody will be under any illusions that this will continue so simply.

With the resurrection of Haas, the double-points scoring success of Alfa-Romeo in the hands of Bottas and newcomer Zhou and the struggles of McLaren, we saw some surprising results, and a source of fasincation from Round 2 forwards will be the so-called midfield (which could be almost anyone behind the three leading teams).

The brand new Jeddah street circuit made quite the impact last year when it became the fourth track to stage a full F1 night race after Marina Bay, Sakhir and Losail. Its scary thrill of a relentless rollercoaster-like ride around its 27 corners coincided with a scarcely believable turn of events in the championship competition between Mercedes and Red Bull. Not even four months on from that day, we have returned and tweaks have been made at nine of the circuit's bends, with a view to enhancing visibility and offering greater space on what some felt was a rather dangerous track.

The barriers have been shifted back at Turns 2, 3, 14 and 21, barriers have been rounded at 4, 16, 22 and 24 and the circuit has been widened on the exit of the last corner.

Vettel is still out with Covid and will again be replaced by Nico Hülkenberg.


The history

Saudi Arabia has little motorsport history, although there is a push to change this in many forms now, including big sponsorship deals, such as Aramco's. In the late 1970s, the late Sir Frank Williams secured Saudi sponsorship. The Race of Champions took place in Saudi Arabia in 2018, while the Diriyah ePrix Formula E race has been run three times so far on the Riyadh Street Circuit, and Extreme E off-road racing was held in the country in April last year.

In 2019, it was announced that a Qiddiya motorsport complex would be developed for the entertainment hub in Riyadh, and it is anticipated that a Grand Prix will be staged there at some point. In the meantime, Jeddah stepped forward to host last year's inaugural event. Situated on the Corniche, a coastal area by the Red Sea, the track is composed of a whopping 27 corners near the waterfront, although many of these are fast kinks, rather than big turns per se.

Qualifying featured the customary battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton set provisional pole and Verstappen looked to be on an even better one, before locking up at Turn 27 and crashing. Hamilton duly took pole from Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen.

Pérez locked up and came close to hitting Verstappen at Turn 1, before Lerclerc then challenged the Red Bull leader on Lap 1, although he couldn't make it stick, while the Mercedes led away in perfect formation. On Lap 10, Mick Schumacher crashed the Haas, leading to the deployment of the safety car. Verstappen complained on the radio that Hamilton was running too slowly. Then, both Mercedes pitted. A red flag shortly followed, during which time Verstappen changed tyres. Verstappen challenged Hamilton round the outside into Turn 1 on the Lap 15 restart, but without space, went across the run off and cut ahead anyway. Meanwhile, Pérez got caught out in a sandwich and was taken out, among others.

Race Director Michael Masi then offered Red Bull the chance to restart with Verstappen behind Hamilton and Ocon, who would be on pole. This therefore seemingly gave them the chance to get away without a penalty for the Turn 1 incident. The race started for the third time, now on Lap 17, and this time Hamilton was sandwiched by Ocon on the outside and Verstappen on the inside, the latter of whom took the lead.

Once past the Alpine driver, Hamilton set about homing in on his adversary and on Lap 37, endeavouring to sweep around the outside into Turn 1, he was rebuked by Max, who left him to run wide. Hamilton called him crazy. Max's engineer instructed him to award the place back, after which point he slowed down and Hamilton ran into the back of him.

On Lap 42, Verstappen attempted to finish off letting Hamilton past, the Mercedes driver successfully getting ahead, before then retaking the lead. We then learned that Max had a 5-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Hamilton made an overtake on Lap 43 to finally seal the move, with Verstappen coming home 2nd, while Bottas nipped past Ocon to steal the final podium spot at the finish line. Verstappen and Hamilton entered the final, infamous round at Abu Dhabi equal on points.


Trivia

(With a lot of assistance from formula 1.com).

The winner of the opening round of the season has finished 2nd in the championship every year since 2017.

Ferrari won for the first time since Sebastian Vettel did it for the Scuderia in Singapore 2019, also in a one-two finish. Until Bahrain, Ferrari had a 45-race winless streak, their second-longest, after 59 between Spain 1990 and Germany 1994.

Leclerc became the first Monegasque driver to lead a championship.

Sainz had his third second-place.

Magnussen's 5th-place finish is the 5th time a Haas has ended up in the top 5.

With 10th, Guanyu Zhou became the 66th driver to finish in the points on his F1 debut.

As he did last year, Tsunoda opened his season with points.

Mercedes might be having a tough time of it, but they do have a 100% win record in Saudi Arabia.


The track

eddah has a lot of muscle when it comes to the statistics. It is the second-fastest circuit, with average speeds around 250km/h and it is the fastest F1 street circuit ever (Albert Park has an average speed of around 237km/h and Baku 215).

It is also the longest street circuit in use recently, at just over 6km, pipping Baku, and the second-longest track in F1, a kilometre shorter than Spa.

Turns 1 and 2 are made of of a chicane including a 90-degree left, followed by a right, both taken in 3rd gear, before and the left-hand kink at Turn 3. Turns 4 and 5 are fast left and right-handers, 5th and 6th gear. The semi-circular Turn 5 is followed by a similar shape but in mirror image at Turns 6 and 7. Turns 8, 9 and 10 are fast and gentle turns. The drivers will just shuffle through 11 and 12 before the big banking at 13, a fast and long hairpin, not dipping under 4th gear.

After the fast sweepers of 14 and 15, the right-left sequence of Turns 16 and 17 is mighty, driven at around 200km/h and in 5th gear before immediately getting detection for the first of three DRS zones. After the slight kinks of 18, 19 and 20, we have DRS Zone 1, immediately chased by DRS Detection Zone 2 and the quick Turns 22, 23 and 24 (6th gear), before the long Turn 25, whose curvature levels off into Turn 26 (all this in DRS Zone 2) before the hairpin at Turn 27, one of the slowest turns on the track, tackled in 3rd gear, with DRS Detection Zone 3 just before it and DRS activation on the start-finish straight.




Other information

Circuit length: 6.174km
Number of laps: 50
Race distance: 308.45km
Race lap record: 1:30.734 (Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes - 2021)
Dry weather tyre compounds: C2, C3 & C4
First Grand Prix at this circuit: 2021
First Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: 2021

Join in the fun with the Predictions Contest and Fantasy F1!

https://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=157016

https://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=156986
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 12:22 (Ref:4104224)   #2
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Trivia

(With a lot of assistance from formula 1.com).

The winner of the opening round of the season has finished 2nd in the championship every year since 2017.

Ferrari won for the first time since Sebastian Vettel did it for the Scuderia in Singapore 2019, also in a one-two finish. Until Bahrain, Ferrari had a 45-race winless streak, their second-longest, after 59 between Spain 1990 and Germany 1994.

Leclerc became the first Monegasque driver to lead a championship.

Sainz had his third second-place.

Magnussen's 5th-place finish is the 5th time a Haas has ended up in the top 5.

With 10th, Guanyu Zhou became the 66th driver to finish in the points on his F1 debut.

As he did last year, Tsunoda opened his season with points.

Mercedes might be having a tough time of it, but they do have a 100% win record in Saudi Arabia.
Quality as always.

To add to the trivia - Lewis Hamilton has now surpassed Michael Schumacher with 16 podiums in consecutive seasons.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 12:35 (Ref:4104226)   #3
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 12:49 (Ref:4104234)   #4
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Plantagenet should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridPlantagenet should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridPlantagenet should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I note they have made small changes to the circuit to try and make the track safer.
I would still say that the track is categorically unsafe and I just hope that there aren't any cars that stop in the fast flowing back section where drivers will have next to zero warning at 180mph.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 13:46 (Ref:4104243)   #5
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The drivers seemed to cope alright with the circuit and the close walls last year. Hopefully the changes do make it safer

However it’s not right to be coming here whilst human rights are still being abused in the same country. Sportwashing at it’s finest
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 14:34 (Ref:4104253)   #6
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Excellent intro as ever.

Back to Jeddah so soon but hopefully we won't see a repeat of last year's race, though it does remind me of an IndyCar street circuit and there may well be a number of FCYs.

The big questions going into the race must be, have Red Bull sorted out their fuel pump issues after their disastrous double DNF; they say they have and can McLaren bounce back? In McLaren's case it may be too soon and a trip to Woking I think may be in order, before the F1 circus heads off to Oz in two weeks time.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 15:49 (Ref:4104258)   #7
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Interesting FP1, with Leclerc having the lead over Verstappen with (wait for it) Bottas in third in the Alfa, ahead of Sainz in the second Ferrrari, then the two Alpha Tauris, leading Perez in the second Red Bull, with Ocon and Alonso in the Alpines sandwiching Hamilton to round off the top ten.


Only FP1, but looking tasty
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 17:15 (Ref:4104266)   #8
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The winner of the opening round of the season has finished 2nd in the championship every year since 2017.
And the driver who finished second on the road in the opening round has won the championship, so Carlos Sainz should be feeling pretty confident about his chances this year.

This is my least favourite round of the season. A track that's too dangerous in a country with an appalling human rights record, and the second practice delayed as a result of black smoke reportedly linked to a Yemeni rebel group. The race really shouldn't be going ahead.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 17:49 (Ref:4104268)   #9
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And the driver who finished second on the road in the opening round has won the championship, so Carlos Sainz should be feeling pretty confident about his chances this year.

This is my least favourite round of the season. A track that's too dangerous in a country with an appalling human rights record, and the second practice delayed as a result of black smoke reportedly linked to a Yemeni rebel group. The race really shouldn't be going ahead.

As long as F1 continue to have Aramco as one of their global partners, the race will remain on the calendar.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 18:06 (Ref:4104269)   #10
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Terrorist missile attack less than 10 miles from the track....
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 18:08 (Ref:4104271)   #11
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Terrorist missile attack less than 10 miles from the track....

I personally think that's a good enough reason to cancel the race.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 18:30 (Ref:4104274)   #12
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Beau2 has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
Me too. Surprised the event is still going ahead after an attack that close to the track.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 18:44 (Ref:4104275)   #13
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The attack hit an Aramco refinery, however the race is going ahead.

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/f...head-/9315704/
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 18:55 (Ref:4104277)   #14
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Me too. Surprised the event is still going ahead after an attack that close to the track.
apparently it's the third "incident" in the area in a week.
doesn't feel quite a good idea.
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Old 25 Mar 2022, 19:40 (Ref:4104278)   #15
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