Every time Nicolas Latifi hits the wall, the leader of the race in question is shaken. Lewis Hamilton is fully aware of the aftermath of the terrific result of the last Formula 1 World Championship, centrifuged by the blows in the last laps of Williams Boy and now also Checo Perez, who missed a stellar opportunity to secure his third win this Sunday. Career and another wearing a Red Bull jumpsuit. Everything went smoothly for him in Jeddah and it’s not easy in a maze as treacherous as the Corniche circuit, where on Saturday he became the first Mexican to win pole position In the Formula 1 World Championship. The proximity of the first corner and the agility of the red buffalo car, combining these two factors with the Guadalajara’s rider’s apparent confidence in the scenario, allowed him to position himself out of reach. Ferraris and Max Verstappen. However, with half the job done and surprisingly, Latifi entangled his leg and steering wheel and he screwed another corner closer than he should have. That fault and the resulting appearance of the safety car (lap 16) led to the first change of script of a night whose voltage was in the crescentAnd in which Verstappen and Charles Leclerc star in an electrifying duel that has all the signs of repeating itself very soon.
With Perez offside, the defending world champion focused on maintaining contact with the rear of Monegasque’s Ferrari to launch an offensive in the final laps. An attack so ostentatious that it validates for all purposes the revolution in regulation implemented this season. Following the trigger last week, in Bahrain, where a fault in the power system had fried two energy cars, Verstappen had the car in Saudi Arabia that set the pace in the winter trials, for more than just superiority. It was assumed not as relevant as it might seem. And this is due to the work of Ferrari, which after a long period of difficulty has assembled a prototype at the height it represents. Mercedes is missing at this party, as the star brand is lost, due to a lack of punch from its Silver Arrows, which continue to pounce and turn an incident of Hamilton’s (tenth) caliber into another one on the grid. Unless the Brackley crew fix it soon, the run Red Bull and Scuderia have taken could leave the star producer down.
Once he distanced himself from the rest of the peloton, Leclerc observed how Verstappen was cooking him over a slow fire, making the most of the opportunities offered by the overtaking zone, basically those with the mobile rear wing. (DRS) are allowed. This new generation of cars expects a new way of racing, certainly due to the similarity forced by the budget limit. On occasion, the Maranello team and the Red Buffalo team proposed two different strategies, one (Ferrari) focusing on speed in the corners and the other (Red Bull) taking advantage on the straights. If there were Italians winning the jackpot in Bahrain, it was Milton Keynes this time, who maxed out the potential of his RB18 at the hands of his boy wonder.
Positioned behind Leclerc, Mad Max made two strikes that were neutralized by the World Cup leader, who were too finicky to block. But Verstappen cannot be held back. In third place, Hasselt’s guy chose to take it easy, four laps from the checkered flag. So much so that he gave up keeping his Red Bull nose in the first place, in order to get as close to the next cave as possible and maximize the potential of Drs, which is already straight. The rare half-second separating the two when crossing the finish line is the best reflection of the level of competition that has reached the event with the latest amendment to the rules. Skeptics are becoming less and less. “Changes do work, there’s no doubt about it,” Leclerc summed up.
Carlos Sainz completed the podium – the first time the Spaniard had hit two chains in a row – and established himself as second in the general table. Alonso departed due to a problem with the propeller of his Alpine (36th lap) when the Spaniard was running in eighth place.