Saudi Arabian GP LIVE: Fernando Alonso handed early penalty after taking lead of race | F1 | Sport

Hello and welcome to Express Sport‘s live coverage of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with Sergio Perez starting on pole at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the second time in as many years.

The Mexican driver was given a clear run at pole in Q3 in the absence of Max Verstappen, who is facing an uphill battle to maintain his 100 per cent winning record in 2023 from down in 15th on the grid after suffering a mechanical failure in Q2.

Fernando Alonso will be Perez’s biggest rival over the course of today’s 50-lap contest as a result, while George Russell will also be hoping to get involved in the battle at the front after securing a third-placed start in qualifying.

However, it could be another difficult evening for Lewis Hamilton after struggling to get to grips with his machinery against the clock yesterday.

We’re just an hour away from lights out in Jeddah and will be on hand to keep you updated with the on-track action as it unfolds…