Lewis Hamilton fastest in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix first practice

The Mercedes driver ended up just 0.056 seconds clear of Verstappen after the first running on the spectacularly fast new Jeddah Corniche street circuit. Verstappen leads Hamilton by eight points with two races remaining. The championship fight hangs in the balance, but in the context of each driver’s title hopes, it is more important for Hamilton to win in Saudi Arabia than Verstappen. Verstappen made a blistering start to the session, well clear of the rest of the drivers for the first quarter of the session after quickly getting up to speed. But Mercedes upped their pace as the session went on to supplant him. Verstappen was a couple of 10ths off Hamilton until a run right at the end of the session closed him up to his rival.

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