Max Verstappen wins Saudi Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen wins Saudi Grand Prix

Max Verstappen finally got the better of Charles Leclerc this year to win the Saudi Grand Prix for his first points of the season.

Starting the race in fourth place behind the Ferrari’s of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and surprise pole-sitter, Sergio Perez, the Dutchman showed improved patience to notch the first win of the new season.

Sergio Perez did well to lead the race until Lap 16 when Red Bull attempted to undercut Ferrari, resulting in an earlier pit stop than their rivals.

That proved to be unfortunate as Williams’ Nicholas Latifi crashed at the final corner on the next lap, triggering a virtual safety car (VSC) and then Safety Car, with Leclerc, Verstappen, and Sainz capitalizing.

The Mexican was set to restart third when the Safety Car retreated on lap 21 but was found to have impeded Sainz as the Spaniard exited the pits during the caution period, leaving the pole-sitter fourth.

Another VSC emerged on Lap 38 when McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo crawled to a halt at the pit exit. When the VSC finished on Lap 41, Verstappen was within a second of leader Leclerc to trigger another round of wheel-to-wheel action like the previous weekend in Bahrain.

With an active DRS, the Dutchman took the lead on Lap 42, but Leclerc came back with DRS and held onto the lead. Again on Lap 43, Verstappen attempted to move past but locked up in unison with the Ferrari into the final corner with the Ferrari keeping P1.

The defending champion showed he had learned from earlier mistakes a the start of Lap 47. Verstappen showed patience to stay behind the leader to use full advantage of DRS to snatch the lead off of Leclerc.

Verstappen narrowly kept the championship leader at bay despite Leclerc putting in the fastest lap of the race to win the Saudi Grand Prix by just 0.549s.

Sainz finished 3rd with Red Bull’s Perez in P4. George Russell took P5 and Esteban Ocon finished 6th. Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly, Kevin Magnussen, and Lewis Hamilton closed out the top 10.

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