Max Verstappen took the win at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after another dominant performance.


Verstappen had to work for the win more than he did last week at Bahrain, which is not saying much. Verstappen pitted from the lead during an early safety car, coming out behind Lando Norris’ McLaren who opted to extend his first stint.


Within a few laps Verstappen glided past Norris with ease to reclaim the lead. It was smooth sailing from there, as Verstappen led the remaining laps to take his second victory of the season.


Dating back to last season, Verstappen has now won nine consecutive races and 19 of the last 20. If he wins the next race in Melbourne, Verstappen will tie the record he set last year for most consecutive victories at ten.


After a miserable race at Bahrain, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly failed to even start the race at Jeddah. A suspected gearbox issue forced Gasly to retire his car during the formation lap.


The early safety car that shook up the field occurred after Lance Stroll clipped the inside wall of turn 22, breaking the steering on his Aston Martin. Stroll went straight on and hit the barrier hard, ending his race.


With the ideal strategy being a one-stopper, most cars pitted under the safety car for hard tires. Norris and Lewis Hamilton opted to stay out on their medium tires, hoping for another safety car. It never came, and both drivers fell to eight and ninth respectively by the finish.


Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc rounded out the podium, with the ladder taking the fastest lap.


Arguably the biggest story of the race came from Oliver Bearman, the 18-year-old making his F1 debut with Ferrari after Carlos Sainz was diagnosed with appendicitis. Bearman started 11th and worked his way up to 7th, driving a clean race in the process.


“I think I put a good showing for myself, which is the main thing,” Bearman said. “Difficult circumstances, not a lot of laps on track but I think we maximized everything.”


With much uncertainty regarding driver lineups across F1 for next season, it will be interesting to see if Bearman’s performance plays a role in how silly season transpires.


The F1 calendar takes a week off before heading to the land down under for the Australian Grand Prix.



Tagline: “The Cooldown Lap,” written by Jon Wenger, takes you through the world of motorsports each week. Wenger discusses the recent events in various racing divisions.