Red Bull Dominate Again, Ferrari Scores Double Points in Bearman’s Debut

March 9, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Max Verstappen once again led the effort at Red Bull ahead of teammate Sergio Perez to secure a 1-2 finish for the Red Bull side at Jeddah. The Red Bulls dominated the race and made a definitive statement in terms of their pace this season. F1 fans had anticipated Red Bull would sweep the season again but no one thought they’d do so by the margins they have. Here is how it all happened in Jeddah.

Gasly and Stroll Out Early

Pierre Gasly unfortunately didn’t make it one lap in the race before having to retire the car. Gasly suffered from a major failure related to his gearbox rendering his day over before it could even get started. 6 laps later Lance Stroll made contact with the wall at Turn 22 which resulted in his suspension being terminally damaged. The crash triggered the safety car which prompted a flood of pit stops given the 11s time loss compared to the typical 20 seconds under green flag conditions.

The majority of the cars pitted for Hard tires including the front runners Verstappen, Perez and Charles Leclerc to extend their initial stints and take care of their mandatory tire switch early as the race developed. . An unfortunate hurdle for Sergio Perez added 5 seconds to his race time for an unsafe release. Ultimately it didn’t make a difference in his finishing position as the pace of the Red Bulls proved to be too much for the competition and he was able to climb to 2nd by the end of the race.

Bearman Scores Points in F1 Debut in Jeddah

Oliver Bearman was called up from his F2 weekend at Jeddah to substitute for the recovering Carlos Sainz who was ruled out this weekend due to appendicitis. Bearman had a good qualifying but had to settle for P11 at the start. Despite that Bearman proved that he is good enough to hang with the best drivers in the world. After making some sensation passes Bearman finished the race P7 and helped Ferrari claim a double points finish. Bearman commented on his F1 debut.

Oliver Bearman suiting up for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Photo Courtesy of Ferrari SpA

“What a great experience and opportunity to have my first race in Formula 1 with Scuderia Ferrari, ” said Bearman. “It was physically demanding, especially in the end when I had Lando (Norris) and Lewis (Hamilton) behind me on Softs. I had to push flat out to maintain the gap and had to stay really focused, always checking my mirrors. It was a shame that the Safety Car came out so early, as I was comfortable on the Softs, but of course it was the right call to pit then and I’m very happy with the result.

I’m confident that I maximized everything today and had great fun out there. I’ll never forget this weekend. Thank you to the whole team for their support and for giving me the chance to race.”

Aston Martin Outperforms Mercedes Again, Mercedes Has No Answers

Mercedes is left scratching their heads in Saudi Arabia. They were out performed by Aston Martin again leaving the team dejected and wondering where they went wrong. To make matters worse both McLarens finished ahead outscoring Mercedes by 6 points on the weekend.

Mercedes Team Principal said, “Today was not a good day for us. It is clear that we are struggling with the car in the high-speed corners. We are competitive elsewhere but in three corners here, we were losing about half-a-second. It was therefore incredibly difficult for the drivers to attack with. We tried something different on the strategy but unfortunately, with the low levels of degradation we saw across the field, it didn’t work out for us. Congratulations must go to Ollie Bearman; he jumped in the car at such short notice and drove a great race, particularly in that final stint. It shows just how high the level is in Formula 2.

Lewis Hamilton finished P9 during the 2024 Saudi Grand Prix, Saturday – Sam Bloxham/Mercedes

Wolff Continued…

There is so much learning we can take from these first two race weekends. We need to get our heads down to analyze, understand and improve. It’s clear that we’ve got a lot of work to do but these tough days make you better. Everyone is committed to getting the car into a better place and we look forward to coming back stronger in Australia.”

Results from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT501:20:43.27325
211Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT50+13.643s18
316Charles LeclercFERRARI50+18.639s16
481Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES50+32.007s12
514Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES50+35.759s10
663George RussellMERCEDES50+39.936s8
738Oliver BearmanFERRARI50+42.679s6
84Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES50+45.708s4
944Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES50+47.391s2
1027Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI50+76.996s1
1123Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES50+88.354s0
1220Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI50+105.737s0
1331Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT49+1 lap0
142Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES49+1 lap0
1522Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT49+1 lap0
163Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT49+1 lap0
1777Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI49+1 lap0
1824Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI49+1 lap0
DNF-Did Not Finish

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