Lot of drama and unexpected twists! From a game-changing Safety Car intervention to a rollercoaster of penalties and Red Bull’s roaring domination, this race had it all. 🚨
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah showcased Red Bull’s sheer dominance with a car that seems to be one of F1’s greatest. While some rivals found this disheartening, others saw glimmers of hope.
Here’s the race recap and analysis that will get you up to speed with the latest info in Formula 1.
📰 Quick recap
George Russell might have been right when he said Red Bull’s cars were simply too fast and that they might just win every race this season. Sergio Pérez’s victory in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix marked Red Bull’s second win in two races, continuing their dominance.
Max Verstappen, despite starting 15th due to a broken drive shaft, still managed to secure second place with ease. Red Bull’s unmatched speed has led competitors like Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to say they are “on another planet.”
Though Verstappen downplayed his chances of victory, he quickly rose through the ranks, reaching second place by the halfway point. Despite some radio traffic suggesting mechanical issues, he closed the race with the fastest lap, earning a bonus point.
🏁 Post-race bites
🟢 Alonso’s 10s penalty. Aaand… it’s gone.
Context: The Spanish racer finished third behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, earning Aston Martin’s second consecutive podium and his own 100th career podium. However, after the celebrations, Alonso received a 10-second penalty and demotion to fourth place due to an intervention from the stewards.
Alonso had been penalized at the start for an incorrect grid position, and he paused for five seconds during a pit stop under the safety car. However, footage showed the rear jack touching his car, leading to further penalties after other teams lobbied for it.
The FIA’s Remote Operations Centre, which is located in Geneva and Race Control told the stewards Fernando Alonso’s penalty was correctly served at the time.
It was only on the last lap of the race, race control delivered a report to the stewards saying it wasn’t.
Aston Martin appealed the decision, providing video evidence of seven other situations this happened without penalties. The FIA reconsidered, and Alonso was restored to third place, ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell.
It doesn’t hurt much, to be honest. I was on the podium, I did the pictures, I took the trophy, I celebrated with the champagne and the team, and now I only have three points less. I did have 15, now I have 12. I think it’s more an FIA poor show today.
I think today is not good for the fans, when you take 35 laps to apply a penalty and to inform the penalty, and you inform after the podium, there’s something really wrong in the system.
Fernando Alonso about the Penalty, before finding out he was reinstated
The FIA has confirmed that it will review its rules in the wake of the controversial scenario and will clarify it by the beginning of the Australian GP. – Read More
Fernando and Aston Martin deserved the podium today but I’m very happy to pick up our first trophy of the season and super proud of the hard work the team is putting in. Let’s keep pushing. 👊 pic.twitter.com/mgIpjtXrIK
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) March 19, 2023
🔴 Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur says the team must not “bullshit itself” over the situation it faces in Formula 1 this year after a disappointing Saudi Arabian Grand Prix:
“The most important thing in this kind of situation is to know where we are going well and what we are doing wrong. But we cannot bullshit ourselves. We have to change. We have to understand where we are wrong, and we have to push. It’s not [good enough] to speak, we will not be faster like this.”
“For me the picture is quite clear. The potential of the car is good, but it’s not enough compared to Red Bull, because we are not able to extract the maximum from the car every time.” – Read More
🔵 Tension between Versappen and Perez in the cooldown room regarding the fastest lap.
Verstappen and Perez seemed free to race until Verstappen faced driveshaft issues.
The race engineers instructed both drivers to maintain a 1:33.0 lap time to keep Alonso behind. Perez complied, but Verstappen remained silent and drove faster laps.
This frustrated Perez, who questioned the team’s strategy and emphasized they didn’t need to push unnecessarily. Despite repeated instructions, Verstappen did not comply with the 1:33.0 lap time and went for(and gained) the Fastest Lap of the race. – Read more
🟠 McLaren – one of the losers of the Jeddah GP
Norris already started at the back of the grid due to an error in qualifying, while Piastri managed to qualify inside the top ten.
But after contact with Pierre Gasly on the opening lap, the Australian was forced to pit with front wing damage which dropped him to the back.
Overall the McLaren cars would’ve been much quicker if not for the high drag. – Read More
🟡🟡 The FIA has explained why the Safety Car was deployed in Jeddah.
The FIA deployed the Safety Car after Stroll parked his Aston Martin off the racing line, leading to several race changing pit stops, including Alonso’s.
Although Stroll’s position seemed safe for recovery, the FIA clarified that due to unclear camera angles, deploying the Safety Car was deemed the safest option at the time. – Read More
📰 Fast Lane News
Sargeant ‘struggled to get comfortable from the get-go’ in tricky race in Jeddah. The Williams rookie finished in sixteenth place, but said he felt “disconnected” from the car during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. – See Video
Norris reveals McLaren friendly-fire behind Saudi Arabian GP struggles. The British driver finished 17th at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, two places behind the Australian rookie, and sits last in the F1 drivers’ standings.
Piastri made contact with Alpine driver Esteban Ocon on lap one, damaging his front wing and forcing an early pit stop for repairs. – Read More
Mercedes was the third quickest car in the race. The car was much improved after Friday with Hamilton’s contra-strategy slightly paying off after the Safety Car restart.- Read More
Rosberg critical of Verstappen’s attitude in Jeddah. Despite his strong drive to the podium after lining up towards the back of the field, Verstappen expressed unhappiness after the race, insisting that he is “not here to finish second”. – Read More
Liam Lawson is poised as Red Bull’s top F1 reserve, despite expectations that former team race winner Daniel Ricciardo would take the role. Ricciardo was not present in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, but will be in Melbourne. Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost prefers to focus on young talents like Lawson and Dennis Hauger rather than call on Ricciardo in case of a driver’s absence. – Read More
‘What a sore loser’ – Fans bemused as Jos Verstappen blanks Perez – Read More
Jos Verstappen getting caught up in the Sergio Perez celebrations 😅 pic.twitter.com/R8vXNNQ4Cw
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) March 19, 2023
📈 Race charts
🔵Verstappen reached 343km/h in the race
He was aided by:
-The general low drag of the RB19
-The high effectiveness of its DRS
-Being often in the tow
⚫️ RUS never used DRS in the main straight ➡️ Only 314km/h
🟠 McLaren reached remarkable top speeds despite their high drag!
📅 Next Race
NEXT UP: 🇦🇺 Australian Grand Prix, 31 Mar – 02 Apr.