December 3, 2023
WINNERS AND LOSERS: Who thrived below the lights on the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a show in utter dominance from a Purple Bull crew who seem to have constructed one of many all-time nice F1 race vehicles. Whereas that made for a irritating race for some rivals, there have been shoots of hope for others. We’ve picked our six winners and 5 losers from Jeddah.

Winner: Sergio Perez

This was essentially the most spectacular victory – and certainly Grand Prix weekend – of Sergio Perez’s substantial F1 profession.

When crew mate Max Verstappen suffered a driveshaft problem in qualifying, having commanded the weekend to that time, Perez stepped up and ensured Purple Bull cashed in on their dominance with pole.

The Mexican cruised round on the entrance of the sector. He was unperturbed when his benefit was worn out by a Security Automobile and impressively absorbed late strain from Verstappen to take his first win of the season.

READ MORE: Perez particulars ‘intense’ finale after holding off Verstappen to win at Jeddah

That’s the primary time he’s gained a race with Verstappen in second place, and along with his fifth profession victory including to a second place within the opening race, he sits second within the drivers’ championship, only a level adrift of Verstappen.

WINNERS AND LOSERS: Who thrived below the lights on the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?

Perez did not put a foot fallacious on race day in Jeddah

Losers: McLaren

McLaren’s painful begin to the season continued in Saudi Arabia as Oscar Piastri’s advantageous qualifying shortly grew to become a distant reminiscence when he made opening-lap contact with Pierre Gasly.

That pressured the Australian to cease on the finish of the lap, whereas particles from that incident flew into crew mate Lando Norris’s path, breaking the Briton’s entrance wing and forcing him to cease.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the motion from an exhilarating Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Perez leads a Purple Bull 1-2

Thereafter, it grew to become an prolonged take a look at session for the British crew, who’re backside of the constructors’ championship and one in every of solely two groups who’ve but to attain to this point this 12 months.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 19: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL60

Dangerous luck actually is one McLaren hitting particles shed from the opposite McLaren

Winner: Max Verstappen

Something lower than victory is often unacceptable for Verstappen, however contemplating he certified fifteenth after a mechanical problem, I feel he’ll take second place this time round.

It was his 79th profession podium, one wanting legend Ayrton Senna’s tally, and his twenty first consecutive end – which is the longest energetic streak going, so relentlessly environment friendly and dependable has he been.

READ MORE: ‘I’m not right here to complete second’ – Verstappen calls on Purple Bull to resolve reliability gremlins that plagued crew in Jeddah

Snatching quickest lap within the closing phases can have happy him, not least as a result of it means he retains the championship lead.

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Verstappen passes Russell and Alonso on his solution to P2 in Jeddah

Loser: Alex Albon

Alex Albon felt he didn’t fairly execute qualifying correctly however was optimistic about Sunday given Williams’ stronger race tempo.

And within the early phases of the race, it regarded like a second consecutive top-10 end was on the playing cards because the Thai driver acquired essentially the most out of his bundle.

However a difficulty within the mechanical brake system pressured his retirement, and with crew mate Logan Sargeant ending up sixteenth, Williams left Jeddah empty-handed.

Winner: Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is famend as a headliner – and he lived as much as that billing in sensational style with an impressive efficiency in Jeddah.

READ MORE: ‘I’m pleased in the long run with the consequence’ – Alonso relieved after a centesimal profession podium reinstated in Jeddah

He led the opening lap of a Grand Prix for the primary time in near 11 years when he nipped previous Perez into Flip 1 and stored a stage head when instructed he had a five-second time penalty for beginning the race out of place in his grid slot.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 19: Third placed Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1 Team

Alonso scored his a centesimal podium, becoming a member of a really elite band of drivers within the century membership

The Spaniard misplaced his podium briefly after the race when handed a penalty by the stewards, however that was overturned, that means he has taken consecutive podiums for the primary time since 2013.

This was additionally his a centesimal profession podium, making him solely the sixth driver after Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Alain Prost and Kimi Raikkonen to attain that feat.

Loser: Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll’s move on Carlos Sainz was fairly the spectacle, however we by no means acquired an opportunity to see what was attainable after an vitality restoration problem curtailed his race after simply 18 laps.

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: How Jeddah highlighted the fascinating battle between Aston Martin, Ferrari and Mercedes

The Canadian didn’t have the tempo to match crew mate Alonso all weekend, however he’s nonetheless recovering from two fractured wrists and a damaged toe sustained only a few weeks in the past.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 19: Lance Stroll of Canada and Aston Martin F1 Team looks on prior to

Stroll wasn’t in a position to comply with his crew mate dwelling due to reliability woes

Winner: George Russell

Whereas George Russell needed to give Alonso the third-place trophy again – having held it whereas the Spaniard was quickly penalised post-race – the Briton can nonetheless take into account Sunday afternoon a job properly performed.

The Mercedes driver had the tempo to maintain up with Alonso all through the Grand Prix, whereas additionally comfortably having the beating of each Ferraris. Whereas he’ll aspire to considerably larger outcomes, contemplating the struggles his crew are at present enduring, P4 was a advantageous consequence.

READ MORE: Russell calls Jeddah drive ‘one in every of my strongest weekends in F1’ regardless of dropping P3 to Alonso

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 19: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG

Though he wasn’t in the long run promoted to the rostrum, fourth continues to be a great consequence for Russell

Loser: Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda’s performances to this point this season have gone below the radar, the Japanese driver dropping out on a primary level of season on the loss of life when he was overtaken by Kevin Magnussen.

It means the AlphaTauri racer has completed on the perimeter of the factors in eleventh at each races this season, in a automobile that is likely one of the slowest within the subject. He’s comfortably outperforming crew mate Nyck de Vries too.

READ MORE: FIA to problem rule clarification forward of Australian Grand Prix after Alonso podium drama in Jeddah

Winners: Alpine

Uneventful aptly describes Alpine’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix however Esteban Ocon can have wished simply that after his penalty-laden season-opener in Bahrain.

The Frenchman acquired himself on the board with eighth (which by the way is his lowest end in Jeddah in three begins), one place larger than crew mate Pierre Gasly, who maintained his 100% points-scoring begin to 2023.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 19: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A523 Renault on

Double factors for Alpine made it a great night time for the crew in pink

Losers: Ferrari

This was a sobering weekend for Ferrari, who started with a collection of energy unit part adjustments – one in every of which triggered a grid penalty for Charles Leclerc – and ended it because the fourth-fastest crew.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc had been unfortunate to pit earlier than the Security Automobile, with their Mercedes rivals in a position to cease cheaply, however they finally didn’t have the tempo to compete on the sharp finish.

READ MORE: ‘There wasn’t far more within the automobile’ – Leclerc calls on Ferrari to enhance ‘quite a bit’ after distant P7 end in Jeddah

Leclerc, nonetheless, acquired off the mark with seventh – having fought his method into the factors by beginning on the tender compound, whereas Sainz’s second rating retains him fourth within the standings.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 19: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-23 and Lewis

Ferrari could not preserve tempo with both Mercedes or Aston Martin in race trim

Winner: Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen scored his and Haas’s first level of the season with a hard-fought drive to tenth.

The Dane bounced again from being overwhelmed in qualifying for the second successive race by crew mate Nico Hulkenberg with aplomb.

The Haas was a lot kinder on its tyres in Saudi Arabia, whereas the crew discovered a great set-up early within the weekend – each of which bode properly for the upcoming races.

READ MORE: What the groups stated – Race day in Saudi Arabia