Despite missing the Thursday activities in Jeddah due to a stomach bug, Verstappen showed no signs of it impacting his performance as he took a clean sweep of top spots in both practice sessions on Friday.
Fernando Alonso kept pace with the Red Bulls to take second place in the second practice session, demonstrating Aston Martin’s pace and strong start to the 2023 F1 season, to push Sergio Perez to third place in the other Red Bull.
After a nightmare start to the season in Bahrain, Alpine bounced back with Esteban Ocon fourth and Pierre Gasly in sixth place, split by the Mercedes of George Russell, as the German manufacturer’s woes continued in Saudi Arabia.
It was also an underwhelming Friday from Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc ninth and Carlos Sainz 10th in FP2 respectively, while the Monegasque driver will take a 10-place grid drop into the Saudi Arabian GP for a third electronics package following his Bahrain DNF.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
What time does qualifying start for the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?
Qualifying for the Saudi Arabian GP starts at 8pm local time (5pm GMT), using the regular Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout session format.
Date: Saturday 18th March 2023
Start time: 8pm local time – 5pm GMT
How can I watch Formula 1?
In the United Kingdom, Formula 1 is broadcast live on Sky Sports, with highlights shown on Channel 4 several hours after the race has finished. Live streaming through NOW is also available in the UK.
Sky Sports F1, which broadcasts the F1 races, can be added as part of the Sky Sports channels which costs £24 a month for new customers. Sky Sports can also be accessed through NOW with a one-off day payment of £11.98 or a month membership of £34.99 per month.
How can I watch F1 Saudi Arabian GP qualifying?
In the United Kingdom, every F1 practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event, with Saudi Arabian GP qualifying coverage starting at 4:00pm GMT on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.
Channel: Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event
Start time: 4:00pm GMT 18th March 2023
Autosport will be running a live text coverage of qualifying here.
Alex Albon, Williams FW45
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
When can I watch the highlights of F1 Saudi Arabian GP qualifying?
In the United Kingdom, Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of qualifying for the Saudi Arabian GP at 8:50pm GMT on Saturday evening. The full programme will run for 90 minutes, covering both qualifying and wrapping up the major talking points of the race weekend so far.
For the entire 2023 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.
Channel: Channel 4
Start time: 8:50pm GMT 18th March 2023
Will F1 Saudi Arabian GP qualifying be on the radio?
Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2023 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website.
Coverage of Saudi Arabian GP qualifying will start at 5:00pm GMT on the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sounds app.
What’s the weather forecast for qualifying at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit?
Warm and dry weather conditions are forecast for Saturday for the start of qualifying at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. The temperature is set to be 27 degrees Celsius at the start of qualifying.