Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has avenged his withdrawal last week. In the second race of the season in Saudi Arabia, the world champion wrestled past the powerful Ferrari Charles Leclerc.
Not Verstappen, but Sergio Perez started his second race of the season in Saudi Arabia for first place. A precedent for the Mexican, but it did not cause him much tension. Perez made a great start and defended his first place.
Verstappen took advantage of the delay at Ferrari to move to third, but the race in Jeddah did not produce more excitement on the opening stage. Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon decided to entertain the audience with a little squabbling.
For Captain Perez, there seemed to be no problem until he picked the unlucky moment to change the tyres. After that, Nicholas Latifi parked his Williams in the wall: the safety car intervened, and Leclerc took the lead.
Fantastic duel between Verstappen and Leclerc
For example, the GP from Saudi Arabia got a new race director, without seeing much of the action. The failures of Ricciardo, Bottas and Alonso were the only notable events in Jeddah.
Until Verstappen and Leclerc decided to cross swords after 40 laps. The Dutchman quickly swept Monegask, only to see his Ferrari rival race past again thanks to DRS.
The start of a great duel that will last until the last round. Verstappen took another chance, but slowed down. The third time lucky. Red Bull continued to advance.
And it’s not over yet: Leclerc made a frantic attempt for a second straight win, but overtaking was no longer possible. World champion Verstappen gets rid of Bahrain’s disappointment with her victory in Saudi Arabia.
One point for Hamilton
What about Lewis Hamilton in the meantime? The seven-time world champion had to start from 15th after a disappointing qualifier. On the hard tire, the Briton managed to climb up to sixth…but then he still had to complete the mandatory stop.
Hamilton did not have a 10th place and a single point in the World Cup. Although a fifth for Russell would ease the pain a bit for Mercedes.
Carlos Sainz (third) stayed ahead of the unfortunate Perez, who saw a victory slip away due to misfortune. Esteban Ocon (Albin) finished sixth after teammate Alonso retired.
And for McLaren, there is some light at the end of the horizon. Lando Norris has not just passed Ocon, but seventh place will benefit the Briton somewhat. Kevin Magnussen (ninth place) also gave Haas points for the second race in a row.
|Saudi Arabia GP . results|
|1.||Max Verstappen||Dutch / Red Bull|
|2.||Charles Leclerc||Monday / Ferrari|
|3.||Carlos Sainz||Spa / Ferrari|
|4.||Sergio Perez||Mix / Red Bull|
|5.||George Russell||Gbr / Mercedes|
|6.||Esteban Ocon||Phra / Alps|
|7.||Lando Norris||GBR / McLaren|
|8.||Pierre Gasly||Fra / Alpha Toure|
|10.||Lewis Hamilton||Gbr / Mercedes|
|11.||Guanyou Zhou||Chi / Alfa Romeo|
|12.||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany / Aston Martin|
|13.||Lance’s Outing||Cannes / Aston Martin|
|Not started: Mick Schumacher (Gear/Haas), Yuki Tsunoda (Japan/AlphaTauri)|
|Directed by: Nicholas Latifi (Cannes/Williams), Daniel Ricciardo (Australia/McLaren), Fernando Alonso (Spa/Alpine), Valtteri Bottas (Vin/Alfa Romeo), Alex Albon (Tha/Williams)|
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