F1, Max Verstappen wins the Saudi Arabian GP: Records broken
2021 Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen clinched the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday. After not being able to finish the race in the season-opening Bahrain GP, Verstappen stayed ahead of the two Ferraris to claim a vital win. Verstappen finished ahead of Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Meanwhile, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was amongst the points (10th). Here's more.
This was Verstappen's 21st Grand Prix win of his career. He also claimed his 61st podium finish. Verstappen gained 25 points and alongside his team-mate Sergio Perez (fourth), the two collected more points for Red Bull (37) than any other side. Notably, both drivers had failed to finish the previous race in Bahrain.
- It was a tense race in Jeddah and Verstappen got the job done, overtaking Leclerc with four laps to go.
- Both drivers slowed down to work the DRS overtaking zones to their advantage but Verstappen sealed the decisive move.
- A virtual safety car period with 12 laps to go changed the course of the race.
- Verstappen couldn't overtake Verstappen in the final moments.
As per the official site of F1, the 0.549s is the closest winning margin since Pierre Gasly won the 2020 Italian Grand Prix over Carlos Sainz by 0.415s. Red Bull's Perez led more laps in Jeddah (14) than he did in any race last year (13). Interestingly, Perez's last two points finishes have been fourth places. The previous one came in Qatar 2021.
Leclerc, who has been touted as Verstappen's main rival in 2022, claimed a second successive podium finish. After winning the Bahrain GP, Leclerc finished second to collect 19 points. He already has more podium finishes (2) as compared to last season (1). This was his 14th podium finish. Sainz recorded his third consecutive podium finish. This was also his 17th consecutive points finish.
Leclerc tops the points tally with 45 and Sainz follows suit with a total of 33. Verstappen's win means he rises to third with 25 points. The Dutchman is followed by Mercedes duo George Russell (22) Lewis Hamilton (16). Alpine's Esteban Ocon (14), Perez (12), Kevin Magnussen (12). Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo (8), and McLaren's Lando Norris (6) complete the Top 10.
Perez led the race until lap 16 before Red Bull decided to take an early pit stop. That ended up being costly as Williams' Nicholas Latifi crashed at the final corner on the next lap and triggered Virtual Safety Car. This helped Leclerc, Verstappen, and Sainz to capitalize. Another Safety Car emerged on Lap 38 and things heated up between Leclerc and Verstappen.
In terms of the Constructors, Ferrari lead the show with 78 points. They have a 40-point gap over Mercedes (38). Red Bull are third with 37 points and are above Alpine (16) and Haas (12).
"I know it was really tough, but a good race, we were battling hard at the front, but we just tried to play the long game. They were really quick through corners; we were quick on the straights," said Red Bull's winner Verstappen.