Verstappen escaped into the wall jungle: ‘He drove his laps with terrifying consistency’

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Verstappen escaped into the wall jungle: 'He drove his laps with terrifying consistency'

Max Verstappen won the second race of the season and Sergio Pérez completed Red Bull Racing’s one-two for the second time. Verstappen escaped into the walled jungle called the Jeddah Corniche Circuit at the start of the race and was once again unstoppable. It was his ninth consecutive win spanning the 2023 and 2024 seasons, leaving him one win shy of breaking his own record.

“The second race of the year, the second victory of the year: Verstappen once again humiliated the competition after his opening victory in Bahrain,” Auto, Motor, und Sport opens the analysis after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. ‘The Dutchman achieved his 56th victory in his Formula 1 career. It was his ninth consecutive victory across seasons. This means that the 26-year-old only needs one more victory to equal his own record of ten consecutive victories from the 2023 season,” the German medium continues. ‘Teammate Pérez completes the second double victory in seven days.’

The podium was completed by Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. In the last lap the Monegasque managed to drive the fastest lap of the race. That means an extra point on Leclerc’s World Cup account. ‘In the wall jungle of Jeddah, Verstappen tried to escape from the start. Leclerc, who shared the front row with the world champion, had to defend himself against Pérez during several corners in the opening phase. A few laps later, the Red Bull driver caught Leclerc on the straight,” Auto, Motor und Sport continues. The field was barely sorted when Lance Stroll parked his car in Turn 22 on lap seven. The Canadian hit the wall with his left front tire, causing the suspension to break.

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max verstappen pole position red bull racing saudi arabia
Verstappen completed the weekend after taking pole position on Friday. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images)

As a result, the safety car came on the track, because the Canadian’s car had to be towed off the track. Almost all drivers took advantage of this moment to switch to the hard tire. ‘Verstappen moved behind Norris in second place, who chose not to stop. Pérez received a five-second penalty for an unsafe release in this chaotic phase. After the safety car went back in, Norris was able to briefly enjoy the lead. Verstappen easily overtook the McLaren thanks to a top speed advantage on the straight. Then he drove away. His pursuers didn’t stand a chance. Just like in Bahrain, Verstappen completed his laps with terrifying consistency.”

‘The sensation of the weekend was Oliver Bearman’

While Auto, Motor und Sport praises the dominant Verstappen, the German medium found another driver in the spotlight: Oliver Bearman. The 18-year-old Briton was still qualifying for Formula 2 on Thursday, but was plucked from the Formula 2 paddock on Friday morning to replace Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard had to be operated on for appendicitis. “The sensation of the weekend was Oliver Bearman,” the German medium concludes. ‘The replacement for Ferrari driver Sainz was unhurt on his Formula 1 debut. Bearman collected his first six World Cup points in the premier class with a P7. For his performance, he was also voted Driver of the Day by the fans.’

The alternative strategy of the drivers who did not stop during the safety car phase did not work out well. Norris finished eighth, Hamilton only finished ninth. The gentlemen were battling each other towards the closing stages of the race, which was beneficial for Bearman, who had just enough margin to cross the line in seventh. The Briton gave everything to give Ferrari those points. Afterwards, Ferrari team boss Frédéric Vasseur was also very pleased with him. Temporary teammate Leclerc expects Bearman to quickly find a place in the premier class. That could be with Haas. Nico Hülkenberg performed well there this weekend, but Kevin Magnussen could not get into the points.

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