Verstappen beats Perez and Leclerc to take dominant victory in Jeddah

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Three-time world champion Max Verstappen took a commanding victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, beating his team-mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari driver Charles Lelcerc. Replacing the unwell Carlos Sainz, Ferrari's junior driver Oliver Bearman performed a hugely impressive debut with the Scuderia.

Starting from the pole position, Max Verstappen managed to get off the line well, holding on to his starting spot. However, an intense fight built up behind the Dutchman with Sergio Perez desperately trying to snatch P2 away from Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque managed to keep his spot with the Mexican having to settle for P3.

On Lap 4, Perez managed to close in on Leclerc and picked off the Monegasque to move up the order to P2.

While the opening laps went by without any big issues, Lap 7 saw Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll crash into the barriers. The Canadian caught the inside of the wall into Turn 22 which broke his suspension, and he slid straight on into the barriers at Turn 23.

Most of the drivers used the safety car interruption to perform their mandatory pit stop, but Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton stayed on the track, possibly because their team thought that they both would have lost too much time due to the double-stack.

Nico Hulkenberg and Zhou Guanyu were the other two drivers to delay their pit stop, staying out on the tyres they started the fourth Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on.

When the safety car left the track on Lap 10, Norris led the way from Verstappen, Hamilton, Perez and Leclerc. At the restart, Oliver Bearman made an eye-catching overtaking manouvre, getting past RB driver Yuki Tsunoda.

Three laps after the restart, Verstappen overtook Norris to retake the lead while his team-made also made a move on Hamilton to take P3.

On Lap 15, Bearman picked off Zhou into Turn 1 to get into the top 10 and the points. The next lap saw his team-mate Leclerc climb to fourth by overtaking Hamilton.

In the meantime, race stewards confirmed that Perez was handed a five-second penalty for unsafe release. The incident happened when Red Bull made a double-stack pit stop, and Perez was released from his tyre service, hindering Fernando Alonso in the fast lane.

On his fresh hards, Piastri also managed to close in on Lewis Hamilton, and tried to get past the seven-time world champion. He tried around the outside of Turn 1, but ran out of road and went wide.

Although he needed a few laps to complete the overtaking move, Ferrari's sensational young drivers Bearman picked off Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg on Lap 21.

On Lap 22, race stewards confirmed that Kevin Magnussen was handed out a ten-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage when he got past Tsunoda. It was the second penalty for the Dane as he had already received another ten-second penalty for causing the collision with Alex Albon.

By Lap 29, Verstappen had a seven-second advantage over his team-mate Perez, who was also building up a gap to third-placed Leclerc.

Lap 37 saw Hamilton pit for new tyres. The Briton elected to take on Pirelli's red-walled soft compound to boost his chances in the dying phases of the Jeddah F1 race. His direct rival Norris pitted on the next lap, but a slow stop from McLaren saw him rejoin the track just in front of Hamilton.

Norris took some time to get his tyres up to speed which meant that Hamilton totally closed in on him, and was eager to overtake the McLaren racer. With Norris desperately trying to fend off Hamilton's attacks, he waved on the straights multiple times which prompted the FIA race stewards to show him the black and white flag.

With Norris and Hamilton having received almost brand-new soft tyres, they started to chase down the seventh-placed Bearman, who constantly approached his race engineer for information about the gap between himself and the two fast-charging British drivers.

Zhou Guanyu finally pitted for new tyres on Lap 43. It was a disastrous stop for the Chinese driver as Kick Sauber failed to fit the new tyres correctly, repeating their slow stop with Bottas from Bahrain.

The dying phases of the 50-lap race saw Norris and Hamilton decrease the gap to Bearman, whose tyres were two steps harder and 30 laps older than what the McLaren and the Mercedes driver had on their cars. However, Ferrari's junior driver managed to pick up his speed, constantly flirting with the walls of the challenging Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Despite having decreased the gap to Bearman to just 2.3s, the F2 driver managed to cling on to his sensational P7 in the end.

At the front, Verstappen took a controlled victory with Perez finishing P2 despite the five-second penalty which he received for the unsafe release. Having struggled with brake issues in Bahrain a week ago, Leclerc clinched his first podium of the year ahead of Norris and Alonso, who managed to fend off the attacks of George Russell.

Bearman took an eye-catching seventh, beating Norris and Hamilton with Hulkenberg rounding out the top ten to score a very important championship point for Haas.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt501:20:43.27325
211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt50+13.643s18
316Charles LeclercFerrari50+18.639s16
481Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes50+32.007s12
514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes50+35.759s10
663George RussellMercedes50+39.936s8
738Oliver BearmanFerrari50+42.679s6
84Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes50+45.708s4
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes50+47.391s2
1027Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari50+76.996s1
1123Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes50+88.354s0
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari50+105.737s0
1331Esteban OconAlpine Renault49+1 lap0
1422Yuki TsunodaRb Honda Rbpt49+1 lap0
152Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes49+1 lap0
163Daniel RicciardoRb Honda Rbpt49+1 lap0
1777Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari49+1 lap0
1824Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari49+1 lap0
NC18Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes5DNF0
NC10Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1DNF0