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Redemption: Max Verstappen Beats Charles Leclerc At The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Which Gets Red Bull Their First Win Of The Season

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) secures his first win of the season at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - while Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), who earned the Driver of The Day, finished in second.

The Podium resulted in:
1st) Verstappen

2nd) Leclerc

3rd) Sainz


The Race

Similar to the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend, the start of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was fairly uneventful. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) held a commanding lead going into lap 16. At this point, he decided to pit and give himself a fresh set of tires. Immediately after entering the pit lane and giving up the lead of the race, Latifi (Williams) crashed exiting the final corner which resulted in a safety car being deployed.

This resulted in the worst timing for Checo (Sergio Perez) because he gave up the lead in the race to pit, while every other driver was able to pit when the safety car was deployed. Due to the reduced speed of the drivers when with the safety car deployed, after pitting the race order was Leclerc (Ferrari) leading, Verstappen (Red Bull) in second and Checo (Red Bull) in third. While the safety car was entering one of the final laps, it was another case of bad timing for Checo as Sainz (Ferrari) was coming out of the pit lane. Checo got a bit aggressive and pushed Sainz off the track:

This resulted in Sergio Perez being forced to give Sainz his position once racing resumed under the green flag (lap 21). Hence, Perez went from 1st (and a commanding 1st place) to 4th in a matter of 5 laps. Most times Red Bull can thank Latifi for his crashes, but in this case it really screwed over Checo.

(Latifi was the driver that crashed during last year's final F1 race, which gave Verstappen the chance to catch up and ultimately beat Lewis Hamilton)

From lap 21 when racing resumed until lap 36 - there wasn't much action going on: Leclerc led with Verstappen a few seconds behind.

Then, both Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo's cars gave out in back to back laps, resulting in a virtual safety car being deployed.

As you can see, Ricciardo was blocking the pit lane, so after a few cars were able to pit and change tyres - the FIA then closed the pit lane as a safety precaution while clearing out the McLaren. 

This has gotta be super frustrating for Alonso and Ricciardo as they were both having good races (Alonso better than Ricciardo) - and it ultimately is for naught as both resulted in a DNF. 

The green flag is given to the drivers on lap 41 and we're back to racing. Leclerc still leading Verstappen, while Sainz is ahead of Checo: Ferrari, Red Bull, Ferrari, Red Bull - expect to see this car order a lot the rest of the season (the order of the 4 will be constantly mixed)

The remaining laps resulted in an electric battle for first between Leclerc and Verstappen, with Max Verstappen ultimately getting the upper hand and holding off Leclerc to win his first race of the season.

GGs Super Max! Red Bull edges Ferrari in Saudi Arabia.


Other Storylines

Lewis Hamilton

What in the world is going on with Lewis Hamilton? He started the race in P16 - yes P16 after a terrible qualifying round. He was able to sneak his way into the top 10 and earn Mercedes a point - George Russell finished P5.

Mick Schumacher 

Mick Schumacher - driver for Haas and son of the legendary F1 driver, Michael Schumacher, suffered an extremely heavy crash yesterday during qualifying which left him out of today's race. His crash was one of those times where you're hoping with everything in you that he ended up okay and not in serious condition. 

Thankfully, he was okay and was even present at the race today.


Alpine

The Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso could become a problem for each other as they were constantly racing very hard against each other at the beginning of the race. In F1, you always want to be faster than your teammate because that's the driver you'll always be measured against. Since you're in the same car, it's the most fair evaluation of your true driving skill. Ocon is a young and hungry newer F1 driver, while Alonso is a 2-time World Champion F1 driver and a true legend in the scene.


This year is shaping up as Red Bull and Ferrari in a league of their own. Extremely similar to last year, except sub out Mercedes and insert Ferrari. If Leclerc continues to race better than Sainz, he'll be the clear #1 for Ferrari which could result in Sainz having to become more of a team player if he has the lead between the 2 to maximize Leclerc's World Championship points.

Get used to a lot more Verstappen vs Leclerc battling for P1.

This F1 year is gonna be electric!

Next race is Sunday, April 10th at 1am for the Australian Grand Prix.