Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Prediction: Is there someone fast enough to stop Red Bull?

Motorsport. Formula 1. March 09, 2024
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Season 2024.
Circuit: Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Saudi Arabia

Zlatko Ilijevski
09 Mar 2024
13:13
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Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Prediction, Betting Tips & Odds │09 MARCH, 2024

Formula 1 travels to Saudi Arabia after Red Bull's dominant double victory in the season opener, and for the fourth year in a row, it will be hosted at the extremely fast street circuit in Jeddah, which is only slower than the legendary Monza. The first race of the season gave us our first glimpse of the balance of power between the teams at the start of 2024, and judging by the first race, not much has changed. Red Bull is still the fastest, and their advantage looked quite big because the Bahrain International Circuit is the track that suits them, and their rivals also had problems that prevented them from giving their best. As in the case of the first weekend of the season, this one will also be run on Saturday because of the beginning of Ramadan (Sunday, March 10).

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The next track on the calendar is the extremely fast Jeddah Corniche Circuit, whose average pole position lap speed from 2023 is as high as 251,814 km/h – only the pole position lap at Monza was faster (259,730 km/h). In addition to being very fast, the track has a very smooth asphalt surface that nevertheless provides a good level of grip, and Pirelli therefore chose a grade of softer rubber than for the first race of the season. Unlike Bahrain, where the emphasis is on braking and slow cornering performance, the Jeddah circuit rewards medium- and high-speed cornering performance, as well as aerodynamic efficiency in the smaller-wing configuration. The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is new in the F1 calendar from 2021 and is designed to be the fastest street circuit in the history of the sport, and is located in the Corniche region, a 30 km long coastal area of the ancient Arab city of Jeddah.

Max Verstappen took the first pole position in Saudi Arabia after a dominant performance in qualifying for the second race of the season, while Charles Leclerc finished second for Ferrari ahead of Sergio Perez. Verstappen was the fastest in the first Q3 attempts with more than three-tenths ahead of teammate Perez, and he kept the lead after the second lap even though Leclerc found half a second compared to the first lap and finished second. Perez was third despite not improving his time in the second attempt, with Alonso finishing fourth for Aston Martin, 0.04 behind Perez. Piastri was faster than Norris in both Q3 laps in a clash between the two McLaren drivers who finished fifth and sixth while Russell was faster than Hamilton in seventh and eighth for Mercedes Tsunoda impressed with a Q3 finish for RB after missing out by 0.007s a week ago, with the Japanese finishing ninth, beating Stroll in the Aston Martin.

Unlucky Carlos Sainz ended up on the operating table due to appendicitis, and 18-year-old Ollie Bearman suddenly had to jump into his Ferrari. The young man did well and won 11th place in the qualifiers, but he still regrets that Q3 escaped him by only 36 thousandths of a second. Yesterday, we once again had the opportunity to see how a person's life can be turned upside down in an instant. Ollie Bearman was preparing for his races in Formula 2 when he suddenly found out that he had to replace Carlos Sainz in Ferrari's F1 car. The Spaniard was already unwell on Thursday, and then on Friday he ended up having an appendectomy. Ferrari announced that the procedure went well and that Carlos is recovering well.

Even though every F1 fan wants to see a fight for the top 3 places, it’s already obvious that Red Bull has the fastest cars on the grid and that the fight will be happening for the places behind them. Verstappen is in great form, his car is excellent, and we saw in the qualifications that no one can come even near his time. Ferrari made some small changes in the back of the car, but it’s still not enough to challenge Red Bull. It will be a difficult, fast street race without space for mistakes and I think that the younger drivers will have more trouble and will be slower, and I can see Russell in his Mercedes finishing on the podium, even though he will start from 7th position.

OUR PREDICTION: George Russel in the top 3

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