Saudi Arabia GP: Verstappen wins his 9th GP in a row as Bearmann impresses

Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Image courtesy of Getty images/Red Bull content pool. 

Max Verstappen was no match for anyone else on the grid on a challenging night in Jeddah as he stormed towards a ninth consecutive grandprix win, equalling his own record from the past. His teammate Perez was the closest to him and finished 7 seconds behind him, which in itself was a commendable effort given how dominant Verstappen has been in the recent times. Yet another Redbull 1-2 in Saudi Arabia means that the tone for the season has been set in stone and is unlikely to change unless something drastic happens.

Ferrari secured a consecutive podium spot with Charles Leclerc doing the best he could but the story of the night was neither Leclerc, nor Verstappen or Perez, it was the 18 year old rookie, Oliver Bearmann who was supposed to be heading to the Formula 2 paddock come Saturday but found himself driving a Ferrari in Formula 1. It was a dream scenario and the young British driver took everyone by surprise after a fantastic drive to finish 7th. After a few initial overtakes on Tsunoda and Hulkenberg, Bearmann was on it from start to finish and finally held his nerve to finish ahead of Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.

Oscar Piastri finished a strong 4th in his McLaren after a decent drive. McLaren was pacy in sector 1 in the fast curves but lacked straight line speed which made them vulnerable at times. Mercedes fell short yet again at this race as the best they could do was George Russell finishing 6th and Hamilton finishing 9th. Hamilton was vocal on the radio about Mercedes lacking with respect to McLaren and so was Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin after he termed McLaren as being in a different league compared to them.

At the beginning of the race, Alpine’s struggles this season continued as Gasly was forced to retire on lap 1. It did not get any better for the French team as the other driver Esteban Ocon could only finish as high as 13th, well outside the points. A mixed race entailed for Aston Martin as Alonso finished 5th, scoring good points but Lance Stroll crashed into the barriers after grazing the wall on lap 7.

A splendid team game was played by Haas for the final points position as Hulkenberg scored the precious point but all the work was done by Kevin Magnussen, defending by the skin of his teeth against Tsunoda and Albon, just so that his teammate could have an enough amount of gap to pit in and emerge ahead of the points chasing pack. He had quite an eventful race on his own as he was hit with a 10-second time penalty twice, once due to his collision with Albon and once due to leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Yuki Tsunoda was fiery throughout the race and drove as if he had a point to prove but fell short at the end as he could only finish 14th and it looked like race of many distractions for Daniel Ricciardo as he could only finish 16th in a underwhelming show, including a spin towards the ending stages. Alexander Albon finished 11th in his Williams just outside the points after a good drive that included some brave overtaking but his teammate Sargeant could only finish 15th, with Williams not taking any points. It was a worse outing for Sauber as they were the last two of the finishing cars with Bottas in 17th and Zhou in 18th.

With a Redbull 1-2 in both the races so far in the season, it would be vastly surprising if anything changes come the Australian grandprix in 2 weeks time. Verstappen will have his eyes set on the 10th straight win and Perez will try to get closer to his teammate than he did today. Ferrari will hope for a change in their fortunes in their bid to catch Redbull but it seems like a step that will not be climbed for this season.

Share the passion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

©2014-2024 ThePitCrewOnline