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F1 Race Preview: Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

F1 Race Preview: Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

Red Bull made a dominant start to the F1 season and secured a 1-2 finish at Bahrain. With technical woes plaguing their cheif rivals, will Red Bull dominate again?

Read on to inform your predictions ahead of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix with expert insight from Pinnacle.

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2023 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

When: March 19, 2023

Where: Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Saudi Arabia

Laps: 50

Distance: 308.45 km

Jeddah is a fresh track. Only built back in 2021, this will be the third Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The average speed around Jeddah is comfortably around 250km/h, and the only other track that comes close when it comes to speed is Monza.

With 27 corners, Jeddah has the most corners of any track this season, and they are not slow turns. This is a rapid street track that flows and sweeps. Racing should be closer than Bahrain, and will most definitely be faster.

Bahrain GP: What did we learn?

So what have we learned from the first GP of the year?

Mercedes’ 2022 woes continued as Sir Lewis Hamilton failed to challenge for podium finish.

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari suffered a mid-race engine failure which helped nudge Hamilton into fifth place.

Nobody managed to get near Red Bull, and not even a Red Bull vehicle could get near Max Verstappen, who notched his 36th Grand Prix victory and his first win at Bahrain.

Verstappen finished almost 12 seconds clear of his teammate and a whopping 38 seconds ahead of third placed Fernando Alonso.

Who will contest Red Bull?

Saudi Arabia is not Bahrain. The track features more straights and the corners are faster. Tyre degradation is less of a factor too.

Red Bull simply handled the degradation in Bahrain better than most, and we saw Verstappen stay on soft tyres a lap longer than Leclerc.

The Red Bull vehicle not only handled the surface well, it was significantly faster coming out of the slow corners. However, the street track is far more free-flowing, and this will give the Ferrari vehicles the space to showcase their straight-line speed.

Saudi Arabia: Who will win?

Sir Lewis Hamilton won here in 2021, but Mercedes look like they’re still a few races out from tuning their vehicle right.

Verstappen won last year in what was a seriously impressive battle with Charles Leclerc.

Nothing positive came out of the Ferrari or Mercedes camps last week. Ferrari managed to identify some key staffing issues causing chaos in their camp.

Aston Martin provided the biggest surprise of Bahrain, but are unlikely to replicate such a performance in Saudi Arabia - the vehicle simply doesn’t have the straight-line pace.

Nico Hülkenberg, driving for Haas, could be a dark horse. Haas displayed impressive speed in Bahrain, but were seriously hindered by rear tyre degradation. An easier track with those long straights will suit Haas, who showcased excellent straight-line efficiency throughout 2022.

However, whether Haas can challenge Red Bull is an entirely different story. Ferrari are still the most likely to rival Red Bull and Verstappen, but they’ll need to make sure that they can actually keep their vehicles running.

Two Red Bull vehicles and a Ferrari is the likely podium finish, with Verstappen standing tallest.

Are you ready for the drama and extreme speed of the Saudia Arabia Grand Prix? Sign up to Pinnacle and enhance your experience with Pinnacle's fantastic F1 odds for each race.

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Matty Treuberg
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