After a short pause, Formula One is back in action this weekend in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah Street Circuit will host the series for the third time. If Red Bull continues its winning streak this weekend, that would certainly be a big boost for the Austrian crew.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull cruised to victory in the opening race of the season in Bahrain. A one-two triumph set the tone of the championship race right away, and it was a clear message to all the rivals what to expect.
There was some uneasy development for Max and his unit, but he stated that it wouldn’t have any impact on him.
SERGIO PEREZ TAKES POLE!!
Back-to-back on the streets of Jeddah for @SChecoPerez 😍#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/GKSruLX81U
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 18, 2023
Neither Mercedes nor Ferrari has any good news to report, and both teams are still searching for the right formula to optimize their qualities and performances. If they fail to deliver top results in Saudi Arabia, that could create a negative atmosphere in and around the respective teams, even though it is only the second race of the campaign.
Sergio Perez took the pole position, proving he might be one of the contenders for the title this year. The Mexican was looking confident while eating the road today. Ferrari’s Leclerc was second, but he will start ten positions lower due to the fine for changing the electronic components. The third was the two-time champion, Fernando Alonso, in his Aston Martin, who currently has a very competitive vehicle. That, combined with Alonso’s experience and talent, could be a winning combination.
Max’s gearbox broke down, and the champ will begin the race from the 15th position. It might be a problem for the Flying Dutchman, but it will make the race even more exciting for fans. Once he catches the groove, Verstappen could even attack the podium.
George Russell was third, and he kinda quietly reached there. Carlos Sainz Jr. is fourth, and Lance Stroll starts as the fifth in the grid. Lewis Hamilton was seventh, and he definitely is slower than last season. Overall, many wonder if Mercedes can keep pace with Red Bull and the rest of the rivals, and we will see if they have a point here.
As stated this is the third event in Jeddah. The previous two winners were Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes in 2021, while Max Verstappen triumphed last year.
Ferrari’s duo, Leclerc and Sainz Jr. were second and third, all within one second behind the winner. Leclerc had the fastest lap of the race. Back then, it seemed that the Prancing Horse improved as time went by, but the drivers didn’t use the vehicle very well.
The way Perez drove on Saturday was very confident. Red Bull has a very good pace, and if it weren’t for Max’s gearbox problems, things would be much better for the Austrians. But even in these circumstances, the Bulls are the main favorites to take the victory, due to Perez, who is our pick to take the top spot on the podium.
If you don’t want to risk this much, Fernando Alonso to finish on the podium can be the alternative, less risky pick. Aston Martin surprised us during the preseason testing, and their excellent form was confirmed in Bahrain.
Pick: Perez to win 21/20 at BetXchange
Alonso on the podium 2/3 at BetXchange