Verstappen wins titanic duel with Leclerc: 2022 Saudi Arabian GP as it happened

Read about the 2022 Saudi Arabian GP as it happened – which developed into a thrilling battle between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen


A race that began as a slow burner – in the fight for the lead at least – built up eventually to a thrilling finale which saw Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen exchange first place many times over the final laps.

Both repeatedly drafted each other and tried to outwit their rival when passing the DRS line in the closing exchanges, but a penultimate lap crash for Lance Stroll and Alex Albon – which brought out a yellow flag in Sector 1 – appeared to save Verstappen from the relentless Leclerc, the Red Bull driver hanging on to win.

Carlos Sainz took third, whilst Sergio Perez was a victim of an early safety car after Nicholas Latifi crashed – the Mexican had just pitted when the yellow flags came out, meaning his rivals essentially had a free pit stop.

Lewis Hamilton fought back well from 16th on the grid and was running sixth when a later safety car came out as Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo all retired within moments of each other.

A closed pit lane meant the Mercedes man missed the ideal time for a stop, but his team-mate George Russell managed to finish fifth.

Behind him was an impressive Esteban Ocon, with Lando Norris salvaging seventh for off-the-pace McLaren.

Pierre Gasly came home eighth and Kevin Magnussen ninth.

It was announced after the race that Magnussen, Sainz and Perez would all be investigated for not slowing during the aforementioned yellow flag.

Read about all the action as it happened on our live text below: