Sergio Perez Wins Saudi Arabian Grand Prix From Pole
Sergio Perez has a simple job at Red Bull: help the team fight for a championship without getting in the way of Max Verstappen's fight for a driver's championship. That means being ready to strike when Verstappen is held up, as he was by a mechanical issue in qualifying yesterday. With Verstappen starting in 15th and Perez starting from pole, that meant his job today was to run away with the win. He did just that.
Perez faced just one obstacle today, losing the lead to Fernando Alonso on the start. That lasted all of four laps, then Perez sailed away from his lone competition on the day to take his fifth career win and fourth with Red Bull Racing.
The bigger surprise was the driver in second. Max Verstappen started 15th after his mechanical issue in the second round of qualifying, but he methodically made his way through the field on the back of the Red Bull's dominant pace and effective use of DRS. Verstappen
Alonso was awarded a five second penalty for incorrect positioning in his starting spot on the grid, but his team believes they had successfully served under safety car and he was able to beat out George Russell by 5.1 seconds and will hold his podium position either way. Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton finish fourth and fifth for Mercedes, with Hamilton briefly capitalizing on a tire compound advantage on the day's lone safety car restart before stabilizing behind his teammate.
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc, Alpine's Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen completed the points-paying positions.
Lance Stroll, who had been running in the top five in what has been a consistently competitive Aston Martin through two races, retired from the race with a mechanical issue and brought out the day's only safety car. Williams driver Alex Albon was the day's only other retirement, choosing to head back to the garage after struggling with a brake issue.
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