Verstappen wins Saudi Arabian GP; Bearman scores points on F1 debut

    Red Bull secured their second consecutive 1-2 finish this season. Leclerc secured the final spot on the podium.

    Published On Mar 10, 2024 12:10:00 PM

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    Max Verstappen took a commanding victory at the Saudi Arabian GP to secure his 100th podium finish in F1. Interestingly, this is the first time that he has won the opening two races of a season.

    Sergio Perez overcame a penalty to finish second, handing Red Bull their second straight 1-2 finish this season. Charles Leclerc bounced back from a disappointing Bahrain GP to finish third at Jeddah. Ferrari’s 18-year-old reserve driver Oliver Bearman, who was subbing in for an ill Carlos Sainz, won the fan vote for Driver of the Day after scoring points on his F1 debut.

    1. Verstappen wins, 13.643secs ahead of Perez
    2. Leclerc third for Ferrari
    3. Bearman P7 on F1 debut

    Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 at Jeddah

    Red Bull remain undefeated two rounds into the season. Verstappen led the way from pole position and delivered yet another controlled and commanding drive to take victory.

    “I think overall of course a fantastic weekend for the whole team, but also from my side, I felt really good with the car,” said Verstappen. “The last stint was a bit longer than we would have liked, but with the Safety Car we had to go for it. So, the last few laps, also with those backmarkers, with the cold tyres, it was a little bit slippery. But we had good pace so we could manage it quite well. Overall, very, very pleased.”

    Perez was given a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release into the path of Fernando Alonso. But he held enough of a gap to Leclerc behind him to hold on to second place.

    Leclerc on podium

    Leclerc struggled a bit on the medium compounds. While he couldn’t quite capitalise on Perez’s penalty, he did score an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

    McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished fourth, ahead of Fernando Alonso, who was the sole Aston Martin driver in the race after his teammate Lance Stroll clipped the wall and hit the barriers early on. Mercedes’ George Russell was chasing Alonso in the closing stages, but had to settle for sixth place.

    Bearman makes strong F1 debut

    It’s been a fairytale weekend for Oliver Bearman. The 18-year-old had just secured pole position in F2 when he was called up as a last-minute replacement for Sainz, who was diagnosed with appendicitis.

    Despite less than an hour of practice time, Bearman managed to qualify P11. He then pulled off some spirited overtakes on Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hulkenberg, and even resisted pressure from Norris towards the end of the race to finish seventh on his debut.

    "What a great experience and opportunity to have my first race in Formula 1 with Scuderia Ferrari. It was physically demanding, especially in the end when I had Lando (Norris) and Lewis (Hamilton) behind me on Softs. I had to push flat out to maintain the gap and had to stay really focused, always checking my mirrors,” said Bearman.

    "I’m confident that I maximised everything today and had great fun out there. I’ll never forget this weekend.”

    Norris ended up eighth, ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10 to score Haas’ first point this season. The German was aided by his teammate Kevin Magnussen, who helped back up the field, giving Hulkenberg enough of a gap to pit and re-join the field without losing ground.

    2024 F1 championship standings

    Verstappen leads the standings,15 points ahead of his teammate Perez. Leclerc is third overall, eight points behind Perez.

    Next up on the F1 calendar is the Australian GP on March 22-24.

    2024 Saudi Arabian GP results

    2024 Saudi Arabian GP results
    PosDriverTeam
    1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing
    2Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing
    3Charles LeclercFerrari
    4Oscar PiastriMcLaren
    5Fernando AlonsoAston Martin
    6George RussellMercedes
    7Oliver BearmanFerrari
    8Lando NorrisMcLaren
    9Lewis HamiltonMercedes
    10Nico HulkenbergHaas
    11Alexander AlbonWilliams
    12Kevin MagnussenHaas
    13Esteban OconAlpine
    14Logan SargeantWilliams
    15Yuki TsunodaRB
    16Daniel RicciardoRB
    17Valtteri BottasKicks Sauber
    18Zhou GuanyuKicks Sauber
    NCLance StrollAston Martin
    NCPierre GasltyAlpine

    Also see:

    FanCode to stream F1 in India; packages start at Rs 49

    Bahrain GP: Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2

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