Sergio Perez held off Max Verstappen to win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Red Bull’s dominant start to the new season continued in Jeddah. Perez crossed the line 5.3 seconds clear of team-mate Verstappen, who fought back from 15th after he was limped out of qualifying with a driveshaft failure.
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso took the final spot on the podium but was later penalised, bringing up George Russell for a first Mercedes podium of the campaign, with Lewis Hamilton fifth. Red Bull are on another planet this season, and their crushing one-two finish – their second in as many races – will be a major cause of concern for F1 bosses as it embarks on a record 23-round calendar.
Russell said after the season-opening race in Bahrain a fortnight ago that he expects Red Bull to win every race this year, and their rapid form here on the Red Sea has done little to dispel the British driver’s chilling prediction.
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In a fortnight’s time it is the turn of Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix as the chasing pack look to catch Red Bull in the early weeks of the 2023 campaign.
But it’s Sergio Perez victorious in Saudi Arabia!
Recap the full race with our report from Jeddah.
Fernando Alonso denied his 100th F1 podium
There was a post-race heartbreak for Fernando Alonso in Saudi Arabia as he was handed a ten-second time penalty.
That knocked him off the podium, elevating George Russell into third place
Read the full story!
The points scorer in Saudi
Max Verstappen understandably did not bounce off the wall with that result
George Russell reacts to his podium finish
“An interesting race, after the safety car Lewis was on the medium and had a bit more pace at the beginning. I knew my pace was coming at the end.
“But there was a lot of confusion because I thought Fernando had a five-second penalty so I didn’t want us to both fight between one another and us both lose out.
“I think the penalty for Fernando is pretty harsh, they are the deserving podium finishers today, but I’ll take a trophy so I’m not complaining too much!”
Confirmation from F1 of Alonso’s penalty
TEN-SECOND PENALTY FOR ALONSO!
The Aston Martin driver loses his third-place finish and George Russell will take the final step on the podium!
Motivating words from Lewis Hamilton
A worry for Fernando Alonso
A 100th F1 podium may be taken off the Aston Martin driver…
Replays suggest work on his car began before the five-second penalty was served during the race.
In Bahrain, Esteban Ocon served an additional ten seconds for that. Such a penalty would knock George Russell into third!
Time for the podium
The Mexican and Austrian national anthems are played out before it’s time for the champagne!
A near-perfect start to the 2023 campaign for Red Bull.