United Arab Emirates

Saudi Crown Prince attends inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has attended the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix being held in Jeddah.

Formula Two was being run as a support event to the inaugural Saudi Arabian Formula One Grand Prix this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche street track.

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Its 6.1-km layout , the second fastest on the calendar after Italian ‘Temple of Speed’ Monza, is made up of mainly flat-out blasts and blind sweeps hemmed in by walls.

Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from third on the grid, with his Red Bull team choosing not to change the Dutchman’s gearbox after his qualifying crash.

The 24-year-old, provisionally third, was on a blinding lap to pole position on Saturday but locked up and ran wide, thumping the barriers at the exit of the final corner to hand Mercedes a front-row lockout with title rival Lewis Hamilton on pole.

The contact broke Verstappen’s rear suspension and raised concerns that it might have also damaged his gearbox.

Rules require a driver to use a single gearbox for six consecutive races and fitting a new one would have seen Verstappen incur a five-place grid drop.

The final grid published by the stewards showed Verstappen starting third and an FIA technical report, which listed parts that had been replaced after qualifying, did not include the gearbox.

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