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F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix LIVE RESULTS: Hamilton starts on POLE, Verstappen could win title TODAY – latest updates

LEWIS HAMILTON goes off on pole at today's huge Saudi Arabian GP - and the title is on the line.

The Brit star will be joined by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on the front of the grid, while Driver's Championship leader Max Verstappen is third.

Verstappen can win the title today if he outscores Hamilton by 18 points or more.

Follow all the action with SunSport's live blog below...

  • TWO HOURS TO GO

    Lewis Hamilton will start the Saudi GP from pole position as he looks to eat into Max Verstappen's eight-point lead in the championship.

    Verstappen starts in third after clipping the barrier in qualifying.

  • HORNER ON VERSTAPPEN 

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner spoke to Sky Sports after watching Max Verstappen crash out on the final lap of qualifying earlier today. 

    He said: “That was looking like the lap of the year. It’s a great shame. He just grabbed the front in the last corner there.

    “He tried to keep the momentum because he could see on his dash that he was four-tenths of a second up going into the corner and, unfortunately, he’s run out of road. 

    “[It’s] pretty brutal, but let’s hope his gearbox isn’t damaged, and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.

    “He knows what a good lap it was. He just needs to put that behind him now. He will still be third on the grid. 

    “He needs to have a good start and anything can still happen in this race.'

  • CHAMPION OFFER

    Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will go to the wire in this year’s Formula 1 Drivers' Championship, writes JAMES ANDERSON.

    And William Hill are offering brand new customers two HUGE odds boosts with Hamilton available at 30/1, or Verstappen at 40/1 to lift the title!

    What's the offer?

    William Hill are offering a massive price boost on the F1 Drivers' Championship. Max Verstappen is available at 40/1, while Lewis Hamilton can be backed at 30/1 to win.

    How to claim?

    Simply visit the William Hill website via your mobile device using this link HERE*.

    Register a new account and deposit using the Promo Code: EPV40 to back Max Verstappen at 40/1, OR use the Promo Code: EPH30 to back Lewis Hamilton at 30/1.

    After that, place a maximum £1 bet on your selection.

  • RECORD BREAKER

    Lewis Hamilton is looking to claim his eighth F1 world championship.

  • F1-2-3

    Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are fighting out one of the most spectacular Formula One seasons in living memory, writes ALEX TERRELL.

    The two drivers are separated by eight points going into the last four races of the season with the Saudi Grand Prix taking place next.

    The season has seen casual fans finally switch back on to motorsport after dominant spells from the likes of Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel before him.

    But it can be confusing how the scoring works for each F1 race.

    How does F1 point scoring work?

    Points are awarded on a sliding scale for a Grand Prix victory, with first place taking 25 points and the rest of the field to 10th place scoring.

    Are points awarded for the fastest lap?

    Yes. One championship point is awarded to the driver with the fastest lap of any Formula One Grand Prix.

    But only if they finish in the top 10 positions of a Grand Prix race.

    This is to avoid a driver who is at the back of the field giving up on winning a race but hanging back in order to set the fastest lap.

  • 'TERRIBLE'

    Max Verstappen was left disappointed after tagging the barrier on turn 27 during qualifying.

    The title-chasing Red Bull driver will start today's Saudi GP from P3.

    On the incident, he said: "It's of course terrible.

    "In general it was a good qualifying, I knew the pace was there and it showed at the end.

    "I don't really understand what happened but I locked up, I still tried to keep the car on track and keep going but clipped the rear and had to stop."

  • LIGHTS OUT

    The Saudi Arabian GP gets underway at 5.30pm!

  • GOOD MORNING F1 FANS

    Lewis Hamilton starts today’s Saudi Arabian GP in pole position, with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas behind him.

    Title rival Max Verstappen starts third after crashing out on the final corner of qualifying yesterday.

    The Dutchman can win the title today, but in all likelihood the championship will go to the final race in Abu Dhabi next week.

    Speaking yesterday after qualifying in P1, seven-time world champ Hamilton said: “This place is one of the hardest tracks to get right, I was on the limit the whole way round and the car was on a knife-edge.

    “Trying to pull out the maximum with the tyres was so tough.

    “It’s difficult to understand why – it’s so warm here but we were having trouble getting the temperature in the front and rears at the same time to have grip at the start of the lap.

    “I’m very proud and thankful that we were able to put it on the front row for tomorrow, it’s going to be an intense race.”

  • MAX DISAPPOINTMENT

    Max Verstappen has admitted that he is 'upset' after crashing out on the final lap of qualifying for Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

    Reacting to qualifying, the Dutchman said: "I was on a really good lap until I lost it on the final corner, I thought I had approached it in the same way I had been doing all session, but I lost the rear.

    "I’m upset with myself and it is of course disappointing but there are two races to go and anything can happen. We had a good car in qualifying and everything was coming together which gives me hope going into the race tomorrow, also knowing that the pace was there today.

    "I hope we can follow well tomorrow and if that’s the case, there should be some good opportunities and we should have a good shot."

  • TOTO TALKS

    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has described Saturday's qualifying as a 'crazy session'.

    After Lewis Hamilton qualified in P1, Wolff said: "What a crazy session! We expected to be stronger today, we have a quick car and it looked like those quick corners would suit us, but like so many times this season, you're constantly surprised.

    "Austin should have been our track and wasn't, and then suddenly in Brazil we were performing really well, so you just never know.

    "It was important today that we kept attacking and attacking, and we've ended up with a front row lockout which is a big advantage for tomorrow.

    "There is a brutal energy running through the whole Team.

    "We just look forward and keep pushing, and pushing, and when you go in the debrief room or in the garage, you don't need to talk because you can feel the energy and how buzzed everyone is."

  • LEWIS' LOWDOWN

    Lewis Hamilton offers his assessment of today's qualifying from Saudi Arabia.

    He said: "This place is one of the hardest tracks to get right, I was on the limit the whole way round and the car was on a knife-edge.

    "Trying to pull out the maximum with the tyres was so tough.

    "It's difficult to understand why - it's so warm here but we were having trouble getting temperature in the front and rears at the same time to have grip at the start of the lap.

    "I'm very proud and thankful that we were able to put it on the front row for tomorrow, it's going to be an intense race.

    "It's always important to have Valtteri beside me, particularly in this part of the year, he's been driving exceptionally well and hopefully tomorrow we can do a good job together."

  • 'CRAZY'

    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted he thought pole position was off the cards for Lewis Hamilton until Max Verstappen crashed out in dramatic fashion on the final corner of qualifying.

    Wolff told Sky Sports: “Formula 1 is crazy and full of surprises.

    “They [Red Bull] had a very dominant package today, their car was really great.

    “He [Verstappen] was up by about half a second and pole was basically gone, but we are ending up one and two which is obviously a big advantage for tomorrow. It’s just crazy.”

  • HORNER ON VERSTAPPEN

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner spoke to Sky Sports after watching Max Verstappen crash out on the final lap of qualifying earlier today.

    He said: "That was looking like the lap of the year. It's a great shame. He just grabbed the front in the last corner there.

    "He tried to keep the momentum because he could see on his dash that he was four-tenths of a second up going into the corner and, unfortunately, he's run out of road.

    "[It's] pretty brutal, but let's hope his gearbox isn't damaged, and we'll see what we can do tomorrow.

    "He knows what a good lap it was. He just needs to put that behind him now. He will still be third on the grid.

    "He needs to have a good start and anything can still happen in this race.

  • NOT APPEALING

    Red Bull will NOT be appealing against the decision not to punish Lewis Hamilton for his yellow flag infringement.

    That's contrary to public statements from Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

    But according to Racing365, Red Bull sources have now confirmed that they will not be appealing.

  • NERVOUS WAIT

    Red Bull are waiting to discover whether Max Verstappen suffered a damaged gearbox during today's action.

    Verstappen crashed out on the final lap of qualifying, and could potentially have picked up some damage to his car in the process.

    If a gearbox change is needed, he will take a five-place penalty on the grid.

    That means he would start tomorrow's race eighth, rather than third.

  • RED BULL APPEAL

    Red Bull are set to APPEAL the decision not to punish Lewis Hamilton for a yellow flag infringement.

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko told Servus TV: "We have appealed against this decision.

    "In Qatar, Max gets five penalty points. Here, suddenly a yellow is no longer a yellow. There is another interpretation.

    "But it can’t go on like this, that you interpret it in such an arbitrary way."

  • BEST MATES

    Lewis Hamilton has praised the efforts of team-mate Valteri Bottas after the Mercedes pair secured P1 and P2 for tomorrow's race.

    Hamilton gushed: "For us to get a one-two, I'm really proud of Valtteri [Bottas] and everyone on the team, this is a great result. The men and the women in our team have just been working so hard.

    "This was the goal. We've worked so hard through simulation, through set-up, the collaboration has just been epic with Valtteri, he's the best team-mate there has ever been in the sport.

    "And we've worked together to work in the setup, to get the car to where it needs to be."

  • ONE-TWO

    Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valteri Bottas celebrate after securing one-two on the grid for tomorrow's Saudi Arabia GP.

  • VERTSAPPEN REACTS

    Max Verstappen has admitted he doesn't 'understand what happened' after crashing into a wall on the final corner of qualifying.

    It means he has to settle for P3 on the grid tomorrow, while Lewis Hamilton is on pole.

    Speaking after qualifying, Verstappen said: "I don't really understand what happened but I locked up and I still tried to keep the car on the track.

    "[I] tried to finish the lap but I clipped the rear and had to stop.

    "But yeah, P3 is a bit disappointing today knowing what lap I was on but, nevertheless, it shows that the car is quick, and let's see what we can do in the race."

  • TAKE IT TO THE MAX

    Being on pole position tomorrow is absolutely huge for Lewis Hamilton, with Max Verstappen able to win the title tomorrow.

    Today's qualifying means Verstappen is up against it to wrap things up in Jeddah, but here's what the Dutchman needs to do to claim a maiden F1 title tomorrow:

  • ON POLE

    Lewis Hamilton's title hopes remain alive after securing pole position in Jeddah.