Verstappen wins Saudi Grand Prix

Sports Desk, Mar 27 (EFE).- Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen won the Saudi Grand Prix on Sunday, the second race of the F1 season held under artificial lighting at the Jeddah raceway, where Ferrari pilot Charles Leclerc of Monaco came in second and remains in the top spot in the rankings.

The 24-year-old Red Bull driver, who is the defending F1 world champion, now has 21 victories in the sport, and was joined by Leclerc and Spain’s Carlos Sainz, also with Ferrari and who came in third on Sunday, on the winner’s podium.

It was Sainz’s second time on the podium so far this season, his eighth in F1 and the sixth since he joined the “Scuderia.”

Mexico’s Sergio Perez, driving for Red Bull, was fourth in a race where the other Spanish pilot, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, with Alpine, had to drop out of the contest with engine trouble with 14 laps to go.

The Mercedes vehicle driven by the United Kingdom’s George Russell finished fifth, ahead of French Alpine driver Esteban Ocon and the McLaren piloted by Briton Lando Norris, who was in seventh at the raceway near the shores of the Red Sea.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly, with Alpha Tauri, ended the evening in eighth, one spot ahead of Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen, with Haas. His two teammates, Japan’s Yuki Tusnoda and Germany’s Mick Schumacher, both did not compete in the race, the former due to an engine problem and the latter as a preventive measure after his accident on Saturday, thus reducing the number of vehicles in the race from 20 to 18.

In 10th place was British seven-time world F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who after being eliminated in the first qualifying round started in 15th position but managed to move up five spots before crossing the finish line, thus adding marginally to his ranking point total.

The third race of the Formula One season, the Australian Grand Prix, will take place on April 10 at the semi-urban Albert Park circuit in Melbourne.

EFE arh/apa/bp

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