F1 live updates: Perez on pole with Alonso alongside; Leclerc and Verstappen to battle from deep in the field

F1 returns to the shores of the Red Sea and the Jeddah Corniche street circuit this weekend for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Although it has only hosted two races — and it won’t be around for long as a permanent circuit is in the works — both have been action-packed.

Despite Red Bull’s dominance in testing and at the season opener in Bahrain — expect that trend to continue with Aston Martin’s continued ascent and a Ferrari title hopeful already set to take a grid penalty — good racing should happen throughout the field.

Here’s what you need to know for the grand prix weekend:

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix broadcast schedule

All times ET

Friday9:25-10:30 a.m.: Free practice 1 (ESPN2)12:55-2 p.m.: Free practice 2 (ESPNEWS)Saturday9:25-10:30 a.m.: Free practice 3 (ESPN2)12:55-2 p.m.: Qualifying (ESPNEWS)Sunday11:30 a.m.-12:55 p.m.: Pre-race show (ESPN, ESPN+)12:55-3 p.m.: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (ESPN, ESPN+)

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix details

Track: Jeddah Corniche street circuit (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)Track length: 3.83 milesTurns: 27 (15 left, 12 right)Laps: 50Lap record: 1:30.734 (Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2021)Tire compounds: C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium), C4 (Soft)

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix starting grid

Sergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPT

Fernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-Mercedes

George Russell (63), Mercedes

Carlos Sainz (55), Ferrari

Lance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-Mercedes

Esteban Ocon (31), Alpine-Renault

Lewis Hamilton (44), Mercedes

Oscar Piastri (81), McLaren-Mercedes

Pierre Gasly (10), Alpine-Renault

Nico Hulkenberg, (27), Haas-Ferrari

Zhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

Charles Leclerc (16), Ferrari

Kevin Magnussen (20), Haas-Ferrari

Valtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPT

Yuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

Alexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes

Nyck De Vries (21), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

Lando Norris (4), McLaren-Mercedes

Logan Sargeant (2), Williams-Mercedes

Charles Leclerc gets 10-place grid drop

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari will already need to use a third Control Electronics unit this weekend after the previous two failed in Bahrain. Given that teams are only allowed to use two per season without consequence, Leclerc has received a 10-place grid drop penalty to be administered after Saturday's qualifying sessions.

Grid drops are fairly common from midseason and further into the calendar as parts break down but already out of a key power unit component two races into what will be a record 23-race campaign, Leclerc's Ferrari is already fighting out of a massive hole.

Top drivers and best bets for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen has been imperious for the better part of three seasons now and he enters the weekend as the only driver to finish on the podium in both trips to Jeddah. Verstappen finished second to Lewis Hamilton — after some incredible racing and one-upmanship — at the inaugural race and won it last year. Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez took the pole for last year's race but when a safety car was called right after he made a pit stop, it allowed Verstappen and Leclerc to easily pass him by pitting under yellow flag conditions.

For those reasons and Leclerc guaranteed to start no better than 11th, Verstappen has incredibly short odds according to BetMGM.

Best odds to win

Max Verstappen (-225)

Sergio Perez (+500)

Fernando Alonso (+700)

Carlos Sainz (+1400)

Charles Leclerc (+1800)

Yahoo Sports' Nick Bromberg understandably is bullish on Verstappen, recommending betting him for pole (+120) and race win.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix entries

Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPTSergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPTCharles Leclerc (16), FerrariCarlos Sainz (55), FerrariLewis Hamilton (44), MercedesGeorge Russell (63), MercedesPierre Gasly (10), Alpine-RenaultEsteban Ocon (31), Alpine-RenaultLando Norris (4), McLaren-MercedesOscar Piastri (81), McLaren-MercedesZhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-FerrariValtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-FerrariFernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-MercedesLance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-MercedesKevin Magnussen (20), Haas-FerrariNico Hulkenberg, (27), Haas-FerrariNyck De Vries (21), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPTYuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPTLogan Sargeant (2), Williams-MercedesAlexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weather

The weekend forecast for Jeddah calls for 0% chance of precipitation and increasingly warm temperatures topping out around 90 degrees. That should lead to rubber being laid down more quickly and the track to evolve even quicker than normal. That could bode well for a team that makes a bold strategy call mid-race to capitalize.

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