Saudi Arabian GP red-flagged twice after early crashes

Formula 1's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was red-flagged twice within 16 laps on Sunday following several crashes, with four drivers out of the race.

Listen to this article

With pole position man Lewis Hamilton having led away from the start, the race had passed without much incident before Schumacher's smash.

The Haas driver lost control of his car on the entry to Turn 22, and spun into the barriers on the outside of the circuit.

The crash triggered an immediate safety car, with Hamilton and his teammate Valtteri Bottas pitting from the front.

But third-placed Max Verstappen, who has a chance of winning the world championship at the Jeddah track, elected to stay out after being delayed on his way into the pits by Bottas ahead of him.

Red Bull's decision to keep Verstappen out appeared to have badly compromised his chances for the win, but the decision paid off handsomely moments later when F1 race director Michael Masi brought out a red flag shortly afterwards.

F1's red flag rules allow drivers a free tyre change for the restart, which means Verstappen will start from pole position with a fresh set of tyres.

Hamilton expressed his frustration over the team radio about Masi's decision to bring the red flag out, after feeling that the barriers could have been repaired without needing the race to be stopped.

The barrier repairs took little more than 10 minutes with the race set to restart 18 minutes after the red flag was brought out.

On the lap 16 restart chaos erupted again as Red Bull's Sergio Perez was spun around by the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, while Haas driver Nikita Mazepin smashed into the back of Williams' George Russell, who was trying to take avoiding action. 

During the second standing start Hamilton took over the lead from Verstappen, only for the Dutchman to retaliate in Turn 1, although he did cross the white line in doing so.

Hamilton had to take avoiding action and dropped back to third behind Alpine driver Esteban Ocon, who had benefitted from not pitting under the first safety car.

shares
comments

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as it happened

Russell: F1 "has a lot to learn" from unnecessary Jeddah danger

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why Vasseur relishes the pressure Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

F1 2023's crucial tech changes The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023