Saudi Arabian GP | Perez relieved to win ‘tougher than expected’ race

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Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez lead home an emphatic Red Bull 1-2 in Jeddah, closely followed by team-mate Max Verstappen, who started 15th on the grid.

For the second week in a row, the Mexican was jumped off the line and left to rue a poor start, as Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso roared ahead into turn one.

By the second lap, Perez continued to press Alonso, and eventually made his way past. He went on to build a ten second lead before Lap 18, when Lance Stroll parked at the side of the track, triggering a Safety Car.

Max Verstappen cleared George Russell and Fernando Alonso swiftly off the restart, leaving Perez to fend off the Dutch driver with a five second gap and twenty laps to go. He managed to bring the car home in one piece, as he took his first win of the 2023 season.

Speaking after the race, Perez said ”It turned our to be tougher than expected, with the safety car. We really did the job in the first stint. The safety car again tried to take the victory away from us – but not this time.

“The team did a fantastic job – they’ve worked so hard during the weekend, there’s been a lot of mechanical issues. I’m really happy for them – it’s time to celebrate.”

Following his poor start, he fought back excellently to retake the lead, and he said ”There’s some work to do (on starts), we’ve changed the procedure – we need to do some work to get better starts in the future.”

Looking ahead to the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks, as Red Bull look to add another 1-2, he said “The important thing is we have the fastest car, so I’m pleased with that.”