Perez secures fifth F1 win, holds off Verstappen in Saudi Arabian GP
In a thrilling Saudi Arabian GP, Sergio Perez secured his fifth Formula 1 win by holding off his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in the latter part of the race. Fernando Alonso briefly took the lead from Perez at the start, but Perez regained his position on lap four.
Sergio Perez secured his fifth Formula 1 win by fending off his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in the latter part of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. At the beginning of the race, Fernando Alonso briefly took the lead from Perez after a quick start, but Perez regained his position at Turn 1 on lap four.
Verstappen was making his way through the field from 15th place after his qualifying was ruined by a driveshaft failure, and he posed a significant challenge to Perez. However, Perez had built up a buffer by making an early pitstop, which allowed him to retain his lead. Unfortunately, this advantage was erased when Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin came to a stop on lap 18 of the 50-lap race, resulting in the deployment of the safety car, and Verstappen closed in on Perez during the caution period.
The safety car period gave Fernando Alonso an opportunity to serve a five-second time penalty that he had received for being out of position on the grid without losing his second-place position. However, shortly after the restart, Max Verstappen overtook Alonso to take second place, having climbed from fourth place.
After the safety car restart, Verstappen swiftly overtook both George Russell and Fernando Alonso to take second place, trailing Perez in the lead.
Despite Verstappen’s best efforts, Perez managed to maintain a lead of just over six seconds and never allowed Verstappen to reduce the gap to less than four seconds.
During the race, both drivers reported potential issues with their RB19 cars. Perez expressed concern about his brake pedal, while Verstappen was spooked by some unusual noises in his vehicle. In an attempt to prevent any risks, the team advised both drivers to maintain a pace of 1m33s per lap. However, Verstappen ignored the team’s instructions and set laps in the 1m32s range, prompting Perez to do the same. Ultimately, Perez was able to keep up with Verstappen and crossed the finish line 5.3 seconds ahead of him, securing his fourth Formula 1 win with Red Bull.
Perez was set to earn the fastest lap point, which would have put him in the lead of the F1 drivers’ championship for the first time in his career. However, Verstappen pushed hard on the final lap and managed to claim the point, thus maintaining his lead in the championship. Fernando Alonso was unable to match the pace of the Red Bull cars, but he created a gap between himself and the Mercedes cars and finished in third place for the second race weekend in a row.
George Russell finished in fifth place, leading home a Mercedes four-five, with Lewis Hamilton unable to use his medium tyres to overtake Russell’s hard-shod car after the safety car restart. At the end of the race, Mercedes informed Russell that Fernando Alonso may still receive an additional penalty for a potential issue with his penalty serving procedure. However, Aston Martin is confident that there is no case to answer.
McLaren had another disappointing race with both Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris sustaining front wing damage on the opening lap, resulting in pit stops that ruined their chances of scoring points. Piastri finished in 15th place, two positions ahead of Norris. Lance Stroll and Alex Albon’s Williams car were the only two drivers who were unable to finish the race, with Albon retiring due to braking issues.
Perez secures fifth F1 win, holds off Verstappen in Saudi Arabian Perez secures fifth F1 win, holds off Verstappen in Saudi Arabian
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