Sergio Perez overcame a shaky start at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, to beat Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen who had to bounce back after starting the race from P15 due to issues in qualifying.

Red Bull secured the top two spots on the Formula One podium, securing the Austrian team’s second one-two finish of the year. The 2023 Formula 1 season saw Sergio Perez earn his first victory by crossing the finish line in first place.

Max Verstappen battled his way through the field, finishing in second place despite starting in fifteenth place, and taking home the driver of the day award after snatching the fastest lap from teammate Sergio Perez on the final lap.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso appeared to defy the odds and place on the podium for the 100th time, despite having a five-second time penalty for a starting infraction. A mechanic was found to have prematurely interfered with the AMR-23, depriving the Spaniard of his glory.

The fact that Max Verstappen had a considerable assistance, though, raised controversy this time. He successfully nursed his car home despite having a drive shaft issue, finishing behind teammate Sergio Perez in second place.

Early in the race, Verstappen was already moving up the leaderboard after he had to start fifteenth as a result of a similar issue. However, he received a significant boost when Lance Stroll was forced to retire and despite the Aston Martin appearing to be out of harm on TV, the safety car appeared.

When the race restarted, Fernando Alonso and George Russell were unable to stop the reigning world champion from advancing, and they came in third and fourth place behind the Red Bulls. Yet after the race, Alonso was demoted to fourth place behind Russell for not properly serving his in-race penalty.

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth after gaining a few positions, while Ferrari will be frustrated that Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc could only manage sixth and seventh respectively.

Hamilton took a chance by starting on the hard tyres, but as a result, he was experiencing difficulties. He muttered over the radio, “I have no grip,” as the other drivers behind him drew him in. Leclerc had made quick work of the overtaking with his softer tyres before Verstappen had the British driver in his sight.

After a few laps, he simply passed the British driver as well, who made no effort to fight against the much faster Red Bull. Back at the front, Perez was beginning to overtake Alonso and had breached the one-second DRS barrier, but it had taken effect only after the Spaniard had been instructed to preserve his tyres.

Ferrari’s strategy team has received more than its fair share of criticism lately, but they were praised for a clever deception they pulled on Aston Martin. They instructed Sainz to pit over the radio, and when their competitors reacted by bringing Stroll in, Sainz chose to remain outside and take advantage of the clear track¬†that was ahead of him.

The Spanish competitor outperformed Stroll in the pits. The Canadian, though, was instructed to end the race as a result of a mechanical problem and would shortly quit regardless. He came to a stop on the track, and those who hadn’t yet pitted rushed in for new tires as the safety car was put into action.

Alpine duo Ocon and Gasly finished eighth and ninth respectively with Tsunoda rounding out the points finish ahead of Haas drivers Magnussen and Hulkenberg.

Sargeant outpaced Zhou as the leading rookie after De Vries finished 15th ahead of the two McLaren drivers, Norris and Piastri, who were now ahead of Bottas. The Alfa had made a third pit stop and was complaining about issues with the C43.

2023 F1 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX – RACE RESULTS

POS DRIVER NAT.TEAM TIME
1Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing50 Laps
2Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing+ 5.355s
3George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 25.866s
4Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 30.728s*
5Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 31.065s
6Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari+ 35.876s
7Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+ 43.162s
8Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 52.832s
9Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 54.747s
10Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 64.826s
11Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri + 67.494s
12Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 70.588s
13Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 76.060s
14Nyck de VriesNEDScuderia AlphaTauri+ 77.478s
15Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team+ 85.021s
16Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+ 86.293s
17Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+ 86.445s
18Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 1 Lap
 Alex AlbonTHAWilliams RacingDNF
 Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One TeamDNF

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