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Jeddah GP Red Bull s Rivals Eye Breakthrough f1 2024

Jeddah GP: Red Bull’s Rivals Eye Breakthrough

07/03/2024

The second round of the Formula 1 World Championship in Jeddah highlighted the unique challenges posed by the Saudi urban circuit for teams and drivers.

With windy conditions, extremely fast blind corners, and an increased need to use the curbs, the Jeddah Grand Prix proved to be a significant test for everyone, including Red Bull’s dominants, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Red Bull’s Domination in Question

Despite Verstappen and Perez’s complaints about the RB20 bouncing on the curbs, Red Bull seemed even more advantaged compared to its performance in Bahrain, based solely on long-run times.

Verstappen, in particular, was impressive, outpacing his teammate by 0.5 seconds on these runs, though this difference could be attributed to traffic and a higher number of complete laps.

On a direct comparison basis, Perez, who has already excelled on this circuit, looks promising, suggesting that Red Bull, despite the challenges, maintains its edge.

Ferrari’s Hidden Strategy

Ferrari, however, remains a mystery. GPS data indicates that the Italian team used even lower power modes than its rivals, a tactic already observed last year on this same circuit.

Carlos Sainz, despite an illness, showed signs of increasing competitiveness over his long run, hinting at Ferrari’s hidden potential.

Charles Leclerc, performing his long run on soft tires, does not offer a direct comparison, casting Ferrari in an intriguing outsider position for the rest of the weekend.

Mercedes and McLaren: Seeking Stability

Mercedes struggled, with Russell and Hamilton making numerous setup changes to stabilize their car’s twitchy rear.

Their long-run program was limited, but Russell’s performances offer a glimmer of hope for the team. McLaren, adopting a low-key approach, divided its long runs between medium and hard tires, the latter appearing to be a wise choice for the race.

Aston Martin: Friday’s Surprise

Fernando Alonso, driving for Aston Martin, posted the fastest time in practice over a single lap, but his long runs do not seem to pose a real threat to the leaders.

The team is at a similar competitiveness level to Bahrain, although its single-lap pace was helped by a more aggressive engine setting.

Overall, the Jeddah Grand Prix offers an opportunity for Red Bull’s rivals to close the gap, but Red Bull’s free practice performances indicate they remain the team to beat.

Ferrari’s strategy remains an unknown factor, potentially capable of upsetting the established hierarchy. Mercedes is still searching for balance, while Aston Martin could surprise despite an apparently inflated advantage from engine settings.

The race promises to be captivating, with strategic battles and on-track duels that could well define the championship’s progression.

Jeddah GP: Red Bull’s Rivals Eye Breakthrough .Jeddah GP: Red Bull’s Rivals Eye Breakthrough

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