Checo the “King of Street Circuits”

Sergio (Checo) Perez and Max Verstappen took the first and second positions on the podium on Sunday, March 19 at the Jeddah circuit in Saudi Arabia furthering the Oracle Red Bull Racing dominance.

This marks the first time that Checo starts a race from the pole and finishes the race as the winner. Verstappen also made his way through the pack, passing 13 drivers on his way to his podium finish. Checo was close to being the second Mexican to lead the F1 World Drivers Championship (WDC). Verstappen’s final lap secured a one-point lead for the Dutchman.

It’s Lights Out

Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Racing rounded out the podium with his second consecutive third-place finish. Alonso was given a five-second penalty at the beginning of the race. He began in false formation to begin the grand prix.

During a safety car period, Alonso attempted to serve his penalty. Aston Martin’s rear jack mechanic made contact with the car. Under FiA regulations is illegal. At the end of the Jeddah Grand Prix, George Russell of Mercedes AMG Petronas was believed to have secured the final podium position as Alonso was given a 10-second penalty.

Hours after the race the FiA rescinded the penalty. This pushed Russell down to fourth and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes to fifth. This podium also marks Alonso’s 100th podium of his F1 career.

Lance Stroll of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team and Alex Albon of Williams Racing retired from the race early, being the safety cars incidents that changed the outcome of the grand prix.

Stroll retired in lap 16 due to unspecified engine failure. Stewards had fire extinguishers ready to spray down the brakes of Stroll’s car.

Albon retired on lap 27 because of brake failure which led to a collision with a wall which made him lose a part of his car’s front wing. Albon drove his car back into the pits. A safety car was deployed to clean up Albon’s front-wing damage.

As of the Jeddah Grand Prix, Verstappen leads the World Driver’s Championship (WDC), leading teammate Perez by one point. Alonso is in third place overall.

Red Bull leads the F1 World Constructors Championship (WCC), followed by Aston Martin and Mercedes.