Red Bull and more Red Bull. And then Geroge Russellwho blows the podium number one hundred of his career after the race Formula 1 Of Fernando Alonso. The Spanish pilot ofAston Martin is penalized by ten seconds for how he served the five-second penalty for incorrect positioning on the starting grid. Bad, decidedly bad Ferrari, who would never have thought of such a bad start to the season. In Saudi Arabia as in Bahrain, just to explain to everyone what the hierarchies of Formula One 2023 are. Sergio Perez take advantage of the 15th place in qualifying by Max Verstappen to conquer a Jeddah the fifth victory of his career.
Verstappen, tension with the Red Bull wall
Now the Mexican has only one point less than Verstappen in the drivers’ standings, who ends up behind him on the Jeddah circuit. The Dutchman recovered easily, overtaking after overtaking, until the 37th of the 50 total laps, when he was already second. Then the team radioed the world champion’s fear: “I hear the same noise as in qualifying”, when the Dutchman was forced to stop in Q2 due to a problem with an axle shaft. The Red Bull wall asks him to let go and stop chasing success, he doesn’t answer four times (perhaps he unplugged his earphone so as not to hear), doesn’t respect the order and shoots hard. Just like Perez, who in turn doesn’t listen to his track engineer and rides like there’s no tomorrow. We are at the (very fast) comedians via radio, with Verstappen asking which is the fastest lap, to win the additional point, and on the wall they answer: “We don’t care” and keep silent, without giving the information to the world champion. Who, in his usual manner, shoots a qualifying time in the last lap, conquers that little point and therefore the leadership of the World Championship.
Alonso penalized: he loses his 100th career podium
Alonso is, indeed he would be, behind: he made a mistake at the start, placing himself a little too far to the left in his spot on the grid, he started as a champion, overtaking Perez and then, after the counter pass, he took advantage of the safety car to serve the 5-second penalty. Cleverness of the Aston Martin which, at the time of the withdrawal of Lance Stroll, asks him: “Stop on track”, or “Stop on the track”, so as to allow the Spaniard to go to the box and not pay for anything for those 5 seconds. But the regulation says that this cannot be done. That’s why the Spaniard is given another ten second penalty at the end of the race, which makes him climb to fourth place, behind Russell, the young British who defended his position also from the team orders of the team in favor of Lewis Hamilton, eventually fifth. Russell was as fierce on the track as he was correct to the microphones: “This is not my podium, it’s Fernando’s podium. He suffered a punishment that was excessive in my opinion”.
Leclerc and Sainz in difficulty
Bad, very bad for the Ferraris, currently the fourth force in the World Championship, after Red Bull, Aston Martin and, of course, Mercedes: sixth Carlos Sainzseventh Charles Leclerc, who on the 34th lap loses patience and asks to be allowed to pass. But Sainz always keeps well over a second ahead and has an easy time returning to the box: “Get him to the DRS area and I’ll do mine”. Never happened. “There’s a lot of work to do – says Leclerc, looking disconsolate – because our goal is always the same: to win. After Bahrain, we realized we were in trouble. Australia is in fourteen days, then we have three weeks off and we have to do something there. Of course, Red Bull is faster both on the straights and in the corners, so if that’s the comparison, it’s really tough.”