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5 Things We Learned from The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez left Saudi Arabian GP with another one-two for Red Bull.

Formula 1

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez left Saudi Arabian GP with another one-two for Red Bull.

The triple world champion didn’t allow the team’s off-track drama to derail his focus and duly pocketed another 25 points and a ninth consecutive Grand Prix win.

However, another driver took the headlines in Jeddah: Oliver Bearman. We look at the stir caused by the 18-year-old Brit in our list.

5. Daniel Ricciardo once again fails to deliver. Former Red Bull driver Ricciardo is under pressure at sister team RB after another poor display. He finished 13th in Bahrain and followed that up with 16th place in Jeddah. The Australian’s smile has been firmly wiped off his face as he lost time during an elongated pit stop and then spun in the latter stages of the race. The sights of a return to Red Bull are now getting murkier as he fights to keep his place at RB and at least try and finish ahead of teammate Yuki Tsunoda. 

4. Sergio Perez has stepped up as a number two driver. The Mexican’s future at Red Bull has been on rocky waters for close to two years. Perez’s performances, two second-place finishes, in 2024 have shown he can support Verstappen and help the team to another constructors’ championship. In Jeddah, he passed Leclerc in the early stages and showed a good race pace despite being penalised for an unsafe release. If the 34-year-old can maintain this form, he’ll be in line for a new contract from the energy drink team. 

3. Ferrari reduced the gap to Red Bull. In the opening Grand Prix in Bahrain a fortnight ago the Italian team finished 25 seconds off the pace. In Jeddah, that gap was reduced by seven seconds. Charles Leclerc still had enough pace on the final lap to score a point for the fastest lap on old hard tyres. Ferrari will be happy they’re faster than everyone else bar Red Bull but will want to close that gap quicker as the team’s head to Australia. 

2. Max Verstappen is in a league of his own. The 26-year-old was ruthless across the weekend and had daylight between the pack on the first lap. He cruised onto his 100th podium and is showing early signs as the favourite for the title. 

1. Oliver Bearman produced an outstanding performance in the scarlet car after replacing Carlos Sainz after the second practice. The teen showed good pace after being thrust onto the big stage from F2. Bearman scored six points after finishing seventh and held off fellow Brits Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton in the final stages. A 2025 move to Haas seems likely for the Ferrari Academy driver. 

The teams head to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix and we’re likely to see many upgrades on cars as the teams look back on the first two races.

        McLaren, Aston Martin, and Mercedes have their work cut out for them heading Down Under as they lacked the pace in Saudi Arabia.

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