Now Playing

Now Playing IconNow Playing:

Evolve Radio

Artist Name

Album Art

Verstappen wins in Saudi as Bearman scores stunning debut seventh

Max Verstappen continued the immaculate start to his quest for a fourth consecutive F1 world title with a comfortable win over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez in the Saudi Arabian GP, as Ferrari stand-in Oliver Bearman finished a surging seventh and scored points on his unexpected F1 debut.

With Verstappen cantering to his second win in a row at the start of the new 2024 season – and a ninth in succession overall, one shy of his own all-time record – around the high-speed Jeddah street track, much of the focus in the race was again on the fights behind him, with British debutant Bearman capturing much of the attention.

The 18-year-old, who had only learned on Friday morning after the opening day of practice had been completed that he would be making his F1 debut this weekend after Carlos Sainz was diagnosed with appendicitis and had to undergo surgery, had already qualified an impressive 11th in a car he had never driven in a sure-footed performance on Friday.

Moving into points positions mid-way through his maiden race, Bearman eventually moved up to seventh and did not put a foot wrong in the closing stages despite knowing he had fellow Britons Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton chasing him down on fresher tyres in the final 10 laps.

Verstappen had led away from pole position but lost the lead to McLaren’s Norris after a lap-seven Safety Car was triggered when Lance Stroll crashed his Aston Martin.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lance Stroll has a huge crash in the early stages of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, bringing out the safety car.

But after soon overtaking the McLaren when the race resumed, Verstappen then raced away at the front with characteristic dominance.

Perez, who had earlier overtaken Charles Leclerc for second after an initial attempt on the race’s opening lap had been rebuffed, soon followed through on the McLaren and such was the pace advantage of the Red Bull RB20 that a five-second penalty he had earlier picked up for an earlier unsafe release from his pit stop under the Safety Car was rendered academic.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch the dramatic start to the Saudi Arabian GP as Charles Leclerc battles Sergio Perez and Oliver Bearman tags Yuki Tsunoda.

Third-placed Leclerc finished 10s behind Perez on the road, which halved in the final classification once the Mexican’s penalty was applied at the chequered flag, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in a distant fourth after spending much of the race unable to find a way past Hamilton, who also did not pit under the Safety Car.

Fernando Alonso capped a strong weekend with fifth place in the sole-remaining Aston Martin, with George Russell sixth for Mercedes ahead of Bearman, Norris and Hamilton.

Nico Hulkenberg opened Haas’ account for 2024 with the final point.

More to follow…

Formula 1’s biggest ever season continues with the Australian Grand Prix from March 22-24, live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – just £21 a month for 12 months. No contract, cancel anytime

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source