Sergio Perez takes Saudi Grand Prix in fine style, Verstappen is No. 2
Sports Desk, Mar 19 (EFE).- Mexican Formula One drive Sergio Perez handily won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday on the Jeddah Street Circuit, the fifth win of his F1 career.
Perez has also garnered the coveted pole position on Saturday but was overtaken early on by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, yet it didn’t take him long to claw his way back in fine style to get out in front of the pack, a position that he never relinquished.
The Mexican driver’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen finished in the No. 2 position after a brilliant race, although he had started back in the 15th position after falling down in the qualifying round.
It initially looked like Alonso had grabbed the third-place spot but he was knocked down to fourth place after the race due to a 10-second penalty assessed against Aston Martin for failing to serve a prior five-second penalty correctly in the pit lane.
The mistake denied Alonso his 100th career podium appearance, and Mercedes pilot George Russell moved into third, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton landing in the No. 5 spot.
Ferrari, on the other hand, had a disappointing showing with both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finishing in sixth and seventh, respectively, while Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10.
The Spaniard Sainz said after the race: “We have to keep working. We’re not where we want to be.”
The win was particularly satisfying for the 33-year-old Perez because last year he had also captured the pole position at Jeddah but a safety car issue prevented him from winning the race.
Verstappen, meanwhile, had suffered a mechanical problem during the qualifying rounds and had to withdraw, thus putting him at the back of the pack, but he notched the fastest lap of the race right before the finish, putting him one ranking point ahead of Perez this season.
The F1 constructor standings for this season are as follows: Red Bull 87 points, Mercedes 41, Aston Martin 35, Ferrari 26 and the other teams all below 10 points each.