Saudi Arabian GP Race Report: Perez Holds Off Teammate Verstappen To Claim Victory
By Sidharth Nambiar
3 mins read
Published on March 20, 2023
- Fernando Alonso finished the race in third position only to be demoted to fourth after receiving an additional time penalty
- Oscar Piastri had another disappointing race after he faced car damage in Lap 1
- George Russell scored his first podium of the season after Alonso was demoted
Redbull exerted its dominance yet again by finishing 1-2. Sergio Perez managed to maintain the gap between himself and teammate Max Verstappen till the end to take victory. Fernando Alonso faced a lot of drama after he finished the race in third position only to be demoted to fourth after receiving an additional time penalty. His podium was then reinstated again following an appeal by the Aston Martin team. His teammate Lance Stroll had to retire from the race following an engine issue, even though he had started the race on a strong note. The Mercedes pair managed to finish fourth and fifth on the grid while Ferrari yet again faced disappointment finishing only sixth and seventh in the race.
The first lap of the race saw Perez fall back while Fernando Alonso would claim the top spot. Charles Leclerc who started the race from P12 moved up three places to P9 in the first lap while Verstappen also managed a great start moving up from P15 to P13 in the first lap. Lance Stroll then overtook Carlos Sainz to claim fourth position in the race proving that Aston Martin held much better pace over the Ferrari. While Oscar Piastri had put up a brilliant qualifying session yesterday, putting the underperforming Mclaren in P8, his race turned sour yet again when his car encountered damage in the first lap after making contact with another car. Piastri then had to pit for a new front wing, dropping down to P20 in the process, making this yet another disappointing race for Mclaren. Alonso received a 5-second time penalty for starting the race in the wrong position.
After DRS was enabled, Perez managed to reclaim the top spot from Alonso. Leclerc put up a very strong race in the first part of the race, moving up to P6 on soft tyres. Verstappen also eventually made his way along the field. The grid soon saw a yellow flag being deployed after Lance Stroll retired following an engine issue. A safety car was also deployed which was a bit questionable considering that Lance Stroll had stopped his car away from the track. However, this was much to the dismay of Charles Leclerc who had pitted just one lap before. This mishap caused him to get stuck in seventh position for the rest of the race while Max Verstappen moved up to fourth position following a “cheap” pitstop. Hamilton who pitted for Medium tyres instead of Hard ones was able to overtake Carlos Sainz to claim fifth position. Alonso pit for Hard tyres during this period while also serving his penalty. Following Verstappen's pitstop, he managed to get past Russell and Alonso to claim P2.
Perez would then go on to win the race after fending off his teammate till the very end. Alonso finished the race third securing his 100th career podium in the process. The race ended on a sad note for Williams as Alex Albon retired from the race following brake failure, and Sargent would fail to score points after only managing P16. Kevin Magnussen managed to score his first points of the season after passing Yuki Tsunoda to take tenth place. His teammate Hulkenberg on the other hand could only manage twelfth position which is still good, considering how far behind the grid the Haas team was last race.
Last Updated on March 20, 2023
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