The Red Bull train left Saudi Arabia with its second win of the Formula 1 season, although on this occasion it was Sergio Perez who edged his teammate Max Verstappen to the chequered flag. The Dutch driver was voted F1.com’s driver of the day after making up 13 places on the fast and tricky street circuit.
The Mexican secured the fifth victory of his career and was under pressure from the two-time world champion until the latter stages in Jeddah.
In a remarkable turn of events, Fernando Alonso scored his second podium in a row and the 100th of his career. The two-time world champion celebrated alongside Perez and Verstappen. The stewards decided after the chequered flag that he served his drive-through penalty incorrectly and was relegated to fourth place. Mercedes’ George Russell assumed the third position. However, Aston Martin appealed the decision and after a complicated sequence of events, they proved that there was no precedent set for the jack touching the car being judged as illegal.
In the end, it was a just reward for Alonso who grabbed the lead from Perez at Turn 1 and then maintained a decent gap between Aston Martin and Russell’s Mercedes after the Spaniard was passed by Perez and Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton felt he should’ve been faster than Russell as he was on the medium compound. However, Russell rejected team orders and pushed on with his hard tyres to keep the seven-time champion at bay.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished sixth and seventh after a tough outing, both had reliability issues over the weekend, and left Jeddah frustrated with the result. Esteban Ocon had a strong race to finish eighth, ahead of Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly. Kevin Magnussen earned his first point of the season after squeezing Yuki Tsunoda out of 10th place. Alex Albon and Lance Stroll were the only two retirements.
The next race is in a fortnight at Melbourne’s Albert Park.