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F1 LIVE: Max Verstappen wins in Saudi Arabia after ‘smart tricks’ as Lewis Hamilton admits ‘s***’ result

Max Verstappen plays FIFA against FIFA Champ Musaed Al Dossary

Max Verstappen edged out Charles Leclerc in a classic F1 battle at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with the Red Bull star winning by less than a second in Jeddah. Sergio Perez had started on pole for the first time in his F1 career after the Mexican put together an impeccable lap around the tight streets of Jeddah in Q3 of qualifying to put himself on the front of the grid.

However, on race day, an ill-timed safety car saw Perez drop from pole into fourth and he was then unable to overtake the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz to get the final podium place. MercedesGeorge Russell was sixth after qualifying and rose to fifth during the race, ahead of Esteban Ocon of Alpine. Lewis Hamilton started the race 15th after a disastrous qualifying saw him struggle and exit at Q1 but the seven-time world champion climbed to 10th by the chequered flag.

Meanwhile a Saudi GP marshal had been removed after saying on Twitter he hoped seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton suffered an accident similar to Romain Grosjean’s fiery crash in Bahrain in 2020. A spokesman for Formula One’s governing body said the unnamed marshal, writing in Arabic, would play no further part in the race weekend in Jeddah. Follow all the reaction to the events in Saudi Arabia plus a look ahead to Melbourne after a thrilling start to the 2022 Formula 1 season:

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Toto Wolff takes positive from Lewis Hamilton performance

“The encouraging side is that his pace on the hard was positive,” said Wolff, in reference to the Briton’s opening showing on that tyre. “We couldn’t tell if it was fast but it was positive.

“Alonso slowed down during the lap, Ricciardo broke down in the entry and we told him to come in but there was a double yellow with one car slowing down and one stationary so it was a confusing situation.

“He passed by and slowed down because of the confusion which made us come out behind [Kevin] Magnussen, then it’s game over.”

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 08:40

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Toto Wolff admits to enduring ‘exercise in humility’ after tough F1 season start for Mercedes

Toto Wolff admits he is enduring an “exercise in humility” after Mercedes’ tough start to the 2022 F1 season.

“We have had the luxury of being right in the middle of those fun games for the last eight years,” said the Mercedes team principal.

“Actually luxury is the wrong word. We were right in the middle of those fun games in the front, and talking as a Formula 1 stakeholder we’re benefiting from a great show that is really spectacular to look at.

“On the other side, it is extremely painful to not be part of those fun games by quite a chunk of lap time deficit.

“We’re not going to rest until we are back in the mix. It is no fun at all and an exercise in humility. It’s going to make us stronger even though it’s not fun right now.”

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 08:31

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F1 2022 Manufacturers Standings

  1. Ferrari, 78.
  2. Mercedes, 38.
  3. Red Bull Racing, 37.
  4. Alpine, 16.
  5. Haas F1 Team, 12.
  6. Alfa Romeo Racing, 9.
  7. Alphatauri, 8.
  8. McLaren, 6.
  9. Aston Martin, 0.
  10. Williams, 0.

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 08:22

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F1 2022 Driver Standings

  1. Charles Leclerc, Monaco, Ferrari, 45 points.
  2. Carlos Sainz Jr, Spain, Ferrari, 33.
  3. Max Verstappen, Netherlands, Red Bull Racing, 25.
  4. George Russell, Great Britain, Mercedes, 22.
  5. Lewis Hamilton, Great Britain, Mercedes, 16.
  6. Esteban Ocon, France, Alpine, 14.
  7. Sergio Perez, Mexico, Red Bull Racing, 12.
  8. Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, Haas F1 Team, 12.
  9. Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Alfa Romeo Racing, 8.
  10. Lando Norris, Great Britain, McLaren, 6.
  11. Yuki Tsunoda, Japan, Alphatauri, 4.
  12. Pierre Gasly, France, Alphatauri, 4.
  13. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Alpine, 2.
  14. Guanyu Zhou, China, Alfa Romeo Racing, 1.

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 08:15

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Max Verstappen admits he needed to play ‘smart tricks’ to overcome Charles Leclerc

Max Verstappen admits he was forced to play “smart tricks” to overcome Charles Leclerc at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“It was a really tough but good race,” said the Dutchman. “We were battling hard at the front and we (Red Bull) just tried to play the long game.

“They (Ferrari) were really quick through corners, we were quick on the straight, but the tyres were wearing out quite quick around here.

“You could see at the end we had a bit more pace, so I just tried to get by. It wasn’t easy, playing smart tricks in the last corner, but eventually I managed to get ahead.”

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 08:10

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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix results

  1. (4) Max Verstappen, Netherlands, Red Bull Racing, 50 laps, 1:24:19.293, 25 points.
  2. (2) Charles Leclerc, Monaco, Ferrari, 50, +0.549 seconds, 19.3.
  3. (3) Carlos Sainz Jr, Spain, Ferrari, 50, +8.097, 15.
  4. (1) Sergio Perez, Mexico, Red Bull Racing, 50, +10.800, 12.
  5. (6) George Russell, Great Britain, Mercedes, 50, +32.732, 10.
  6. (5) Esteban Ocon, France, Alpine, 50, +56.017, 8.
  7. (11) Lando Norris, Great Britain, McLaren, 50, +56.124, 6.
  8. (9) Pierre Gasly, France, Alphatauri, 50, +1:02.946, 4.
  9. (10) Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, Haas F1 Team, 50, +1:04.308, 2.
  10. (15) Lewis Hamilton, Great Britain, Mercedes, 50, +1:13.948, 1.
  11. (12) Guanyu Zhou, China, Alfa Romeo Racing, 50, +1:22.215.
  12. (17) Nico Hulkenberg, Germany, Aston Martin, 50, +1:31.742.
  13. (13) Lance Stroll, Canada, Aston Martin, 49, +1 lap.
  14. (16) Alexander Albon, Thailand, Williams, did not finish, 47.
  15. (8) Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Alfa Romeo Racing, did not finish, 36.
  16. (7) Fernando Alonso, Spain, Alpine, did not finish, 35.
  17. (14) Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, McLaren, did not finish, 35.
  18. (18) Nicholas Latifi, Canada, Williams, did not finish, 14.

(Start position in parentheses)

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 08:05

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Charles Leclerc admits Max Verstappen understood his DRS mind games

Charles Leclerc admits Max Verstappen understood his DRS mind games to edge his Ferrari out and take the victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“I knew my weakness was straight-line speed compared to the Red Bull’s,” said Leclerc, talking to Sky Sports F1.

“It worked once and then the second time he understood so he braked very early. It was fun, I like the racing like this – the new regulations are definitely working.”

“It was tricky today. I will look back at the race but I don’t think there was much more I could do. One opportunity we missed with the yellow flags in Turn 1, so we didn’t have the DRS there which could have been an opportunity to be alongside Max at the end of the straight.

“We are working very well as a team. I think the only thing would have been a lower downforce level.”

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 08:00

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Lewis Hamilton confusion after ‘s***’ result in Saudi Arabia

Lewis Hamilton appeared to admit he did not realise he had gained a point for Mercedes despite a ‘s***’ result to finish 10th at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Speaking on the radio after the race in Jeddah, Hamilton’s race engineer, Pete Bonnington, said: “Okay Lewis, so that’s P10.

“Sorry about that. It’s a bit of a s*** result given all the hard work.”

Hamilton replied: “Is there even a point for that position?”

“Yeah, we do get a point,” Bonnington confirmed.

Hamilton then finished: “That was a tough day in the office guys but thank you so much for trying.”

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 07:53

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What is DRS in Formula 1, what does it mean and how does it work?

If you’ve become a fan of Formula 1 in recent years, you will probably be familiar with the term ‘DRS’ – the system which effectively allows for more overtaking.

Following its introduction in 2011, DRS has become a vital part of the sport. It stands for Drag Reduction System and is an adjustable part of the rear wing which, when opened, improves speed by 10-12 kmph.

That doesn’t sound like a lot when cars already travel at around 300kmph, but it can make all the difference along a long straight.

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 07:45

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Mick Schumacher hails F1 safety technology after high-speed crash at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Mick Schumacher has hailed the safety technology in Formula One cars after coming through a high-speed crash unscathed at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Schumacher hit the wall with a force of 33G as he pushed to try and make the top 10 in qualifying. The 23-year-old was airlifted to a hospital for further examination before returning to his hotel.

Haas F1 ruled Schumacher out of the race on Sunday and the American team said it would field just one car.

Jack Rathborn28 March 2022 07:40

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