Max Verstappen responds to the disaster in Bahrain by winning the Saudi Arabian GP. He took the lead from Charles Leclerc late on who had held the lead for a large part of the race.
It was another chaotic race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit with just 13 cars finishing the grand prix. Mick Schumacher was ruled out after his crash in qualifying and Yuki Tsunoda’s car stopped on the way to the grid.
Max Verstappen Responds
The World Champion gave us another enthralling tussle with Charles Leclerc just like last week. The lead switched over a few times between the pair again, but this time Verstappen was victorious.
The pair played a game of chicken when trying to get DRS for the sprint into turn one. Leclerc won the game but couldn’t hold Verstappen off until the end of the race. He had to settle for second with his teammate Carlos Sainz finishing the podium places.
Graciously, Leclerc was full of praise for Verstappen on his team radio after the race. He congratulated him for the great fight they once again put on for fans across the globe.
Heartbreak for Checo
Sergio Perez got off to the perfect start, pulling away at lights out and looked comfortable. He dived into the pits from the race lead on lap 15 to stop Leclerc performing an undercut on him. Leclerc then decided to stay out for an overcut attempt.
Then the following lap Nicholas Latifi was in the wall, bringing out the safety car. The other front runners were able to gain a free pit stop and Perez was pushed down to P4 through no fault of his own.
He appeared to have got P3, but was deemed to have overtaken Sainz as the Spaniard came out of the pits and had to give the position up. Finishing outside the podium places will hurt after securing his maiden pole position on Saturday.
The opening stages of the race were quiet in terms of the front runners. Thankfully, the bright pink Alpine cars were on hand to entertain.
Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were trading positions throughout the opening 14 laps, fighting each other for position. They were eventually told to stop so they didn’t damage their races as Valtteri Bottas was able to close up quickly while they battled.
Lewis Hamilton Unlucky
Lewis Hamilton was one of three drivers starting on the hard tyre and he was going long in the opening stint. He was up to P6 before his stop, lap 38 saw another safety car, but the pit lane closed due to cars blocking the entry. This happened just before Hamilton could pit, meaning he lost time.
When he did make his stop, he dropped from P6 to P12 and could only salvage 10th place. It looked like he had limited the damage really well until that misfortune.
Max Verstappen was buzzing to finally get on the board this season: “We were battling hard at the front. It was tough. I’m really happy we’ve finally kick-started the season.”
Charles Leclerc really loved the Saudi Arabian GP: “It wasn’t enough today, but oh my god, I really enjoyed that race! It’s hard racing but it’s fair, every race should be like this. It was fun, I’m obviously disappointed, I wanted to win today.”
Carlos Sainz hailed his progress from last week: “For me the race was a bit of progress from Bahrain. I managed to find a bit more rhythm with the car. Still some tenths to find but I think I will end up getting there.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 27, 2022
In Other News: Bahrain GP 2022 Report
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images