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F1/Saudi Arabian GP: new demonstration from Verstappen and Red Bull

New demonstration from Red Bull! Triple world champion Max Verstappen won hands down the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix ahead of his Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez on Saturday on the Jeddah urban circuit.

Will this new double on the track finally bring calm and serenity to the team which has been crushing the discipline for two years ? This is in any case the wish expressed by all those involved this weekend on the shores of the Red Sea.

The latest twist that occurred on Friday with the announcement of an internal investigation targeting the influential advisor Helmut Marko could quickly be forgotten and allow us to turn the page on the Christian Horner affair, in which the team boss was cleared of accusations of “inappropriate behavior” made by an employee, herself suspended by Red Bull since.

– Helmut Marko will stay at Red Bull –

Indeed, the Austrian, who met on Saturday in Jeddah Oliver Mintzlaff, general director of Red Bull in charge of the brand's sporting projects, affirmed that he was not going to leave the team even though he had suggested Friday that he could be suspended.

“It was a very good discussion. Naturally, calm must return to the team. This is a priority. We we have agreed on all points. I will continue here. I still have three years of contract left. But calm must return”, insisted Marko on the Sky Deutschland channel.

F1/Saudi Arabian GP: new demonstration from Verstappen and Red Bull

Max Verstappen winner in Jeddahle on March 9, 2024 © AFP – Giuseppe CACACE

On Friday, Max Verstappen put pressure on Red Bull by insisting several times “Helmut must stay in the team” and left the threat of a departure if the 80-year-old Austrian, whose he is very close, was suspended.

The weekend in Saudi Arabia therefore ended in the best possible way for the Austrian team, which crushed again its competitors.

As is often the case in Jeddah, the safety car entered the track: it was deployed after the accident on the sixth lap of Canadian Lance Stroll, who hit a wall before hitting a protective wall.

Almost all the drivers took the opportunity to return to the pits to change tires, apart from the Chinese Guanyu Zhou (Sauber), the German Nico Hülkenberg (Haas) and the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Lando Norris (McLaren).

The latter took the lead of the race at the wheel of his papaya single-seater and held off Verstappen for three laps after the end of the +safety car+.

But he was unable to do anything in the face of the superiority of the Dutchman, who regained the lead on the 13th lap and never let go until the end of the race.

“The car worked very well, even better than we expected. We had a very good pace and we were able to manage the gap all the time. It’s a fantastic weekend for the whole team,” underlined Verstappen.

– Successful first for Bearman –

Pérez quickly moved up to second place but without success to stay in contact with the three-time world champion, who finished 13 seconds ahead of his teammate, who received a five-second penalty for cutting off Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) in the pits.< /p>

F1/Saudi Arabian GP: new demonstration from Verstappen and Red Bull

Sergio Perez 2nd in Jeddah on March 9, 2024 © AFP – JOSEPH EID

The third step on the podium went to Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), who started on the front row but was unable to keep up with the pace of the Red Bulls. However, he won the gong for the fastest lap in the race.

His young British teammate Oliver Bearman, who had to replace the Spaniard Carlos Sainz at short notice, operated on for appendicitis on Friday, for his part took a superb seventh place and scored 6 points for his first Grand Prix in Formula 1.

“It was a very great race. I grew up watching most of these drivers, it's amazing to have shared the track with them. Surprisingly, I wasn't too nervous. We did a good job today (Saturday) “, declared Bearman in front of a swarm of journalists.

The Briton, who started in 11th position on Saturday, became at 18 years 10 months and 1 day the third most young driver in history to participate in a Grand Prix in F1 after Verstappen and Stroll.

On the French side, the race was again very difficult for Alpine: it was very got off to a bad start since Pierre Gasly had to retire on the first lap after a gearbox problem, while Esteban Ocon, who started in 17th position, finished 13th.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116