Formula 1 Racing

Perez wins in Jeddah as Verstappen climbs from 15th to second · RaceFans

Race start, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023

Sergio Perez led another Red Bull one-two in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after team mate Max Verstappen recovered from 15th on the grid to take second.

Perez lost the lead off the start to Fernando Alonso but passed the Aston Martin driver early in the race. The Red Bull driver never relinquished his advantage from that point onwards, and Alonso secured the final podium position with third place for the second successive race.

At the start of the race, George Russell fell into third place behind Alonso and Perez. As the field navigated through the opening corners, Oscar Piastri suffered front wing damage, while debris from the McLaren was struck by team mate Lando Norris on the second lap, meaning both McLaren drivers had to enter the pits for front wing changes.

While Alonso led, the stewards quickly announced that he had been handed a five-second time penalty for an incorrect starting location – the same offence that Esteban Ocon committed in the opening race in Bahrain. However, Perez did not need the penalty to retake the lead from the Aston Martin, as he dived to the inside of the first turn at the start of lap four to move into the lead.

Race start, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023
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Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen steadily made their way up the order from their compromised starting positions of 12th and 15th respectively. Leclerc on soft tyres rose to sixth behind team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr by lap 13, while Verstappen used mediums to gain seven places to eighth over the same time. Alonso dropped to 4.5 seconds behind Perez, but pulled out a gap of over seven seconds to Russell in third.

On lap 17, Lance Stroll was suddenly told to stop his car, pulling off track at the end of turn 13. Despite Stroll’s car being well behind the barrier, the Safety Car was deployed. Perez, Alonso, Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Leclerc all pitted, with all but Hamilton switching to hard tyres. Perez held onto his lead, Alonso served his penalty but retained second place ahead of Russell while Verstappen was promoted to fourth.

When the race resumed on lap 20, Perez led away from Alonso, who came under pressure from Russell behind. Perez pulled out a gap of two seconds at the end of the first green flag lap, while Hamilton used his medium tyre advantage to overtake Sainz on the exit of turn two and move up to fifth.

Verstappen used DRS on the approach to the final corner to slide passed Russell and move up to third. The next lap, Verstappen…

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