Victory for Verstappen in Saudi Arabia

Back-to-back wins at the start of the 2024 season for the reigning champion

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202403090326 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen made it back to back wins at the start of the 2024 Formula 1 season with a comfortable victory at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.

The three-time champion didn’t look under pressure at the front of the field throughout the race, with teammate Sergio Perez finishing second, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc completed the top three.

Before the race started, there was an issue for Pierre Gasly. He told the Alpine team he had a gearbox issue on the formation lap, but was able to start the race, before retirning the car after just one lap.

Oliver Bearman, filling in for Carlos Sainz while he recovers from appendicitis, put early pressure on Yuki Tsunoda, but the Ferrari driver couldn’t find a way through.

The safety car was deployed when Lance Stroll clipped the wall and broke his steering, sending him into the barrier opposite at high speed.

Stroll’s crash triggered an early round of pitstops, with the majority of the field coming in, but Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton stayed out.

In a busy pitlane, Red Bull released Perez quickly into the path of the incoming Fernando Alonso, resulting in a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release.

Norris was the leader as the safety car returned to the pits, with Hamilton in third, but both held their position for just a couple of laps before the Red Bulls on newer tyres moved back ahead.

Kevin Magnussen and Alex Albon went wheel to wheel, touching as the Haas driver squeezed Albon towards the wall, earning Magnussen a 10-second time penalty.

There was a further penalty for Magnussen when he ran wide while battling with Tsunoda, picking up another 10-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Oscar Piastri found himself stuck behind Hamilton, seemingly with more pace than the Mercedes, but unable to find a way past the seven-time champion. He made an overtake twice, but was unable to get the car slowed in time and had to give Hamilton the place back.

Once Hamilton and Norris pitted, they came back out behind Bearman but on fresher tyres, with both looking to close the gap to the rookie. But, as they battled among themselves over eighth place, Bearman was able to maintain a gap over the duo to hold on to seventh.

Provisional classification:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

4. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

5. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

6. George Russell (Mercedes)

7. Oliver Bearman (Ferrari)

8. Lando Norris (McLaren)

9. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

10. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

11. Alex Albon (Williams)

12. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

13. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

14. Yuki Tsunoda (VCARB)

15. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

16. Daniel Ricciardo (VCARB)

17. Valtteri Bottas (Sauber)

18. Guanyu Zhou (Sauber)


Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply