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Doubt over Max Verstappen in Saudi Arabia? Sunday’s Grand Prix Preview

Practice: Friday 16:30-17:30, 20:00-21:00, Saturday 16:30-17:30

QUALIFYING: Saturday 20:00-21:00

RACE: Sunday 17:00

F1 World Champion Max Verstappen had to miss his media duties this week and may only return to Red Bull duty for tomorrow’s practice having been ill this week. Verstappen won the season opener in Bahrain and will be keen to race to bolster his bid for a third World Championship in a row. Red Bull will be the favourites heading into the race with Ferrari still facing issues with their car and Mercedes unlikely to be challenging fully. If he is well, and he races, Verstappen will be our favourite to take pole position. Sergio Perez could be on hand to climb one place from last week and take the win. 

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has been handed a ten place grid penalty due to having to replace electronic components on his car for the third time this season, having only had one race, exceeding the allowed limit of two changes. Leclerc’s time with Ferrari has been marred by failures in his camp with the talented driver challenging for the podium two weeks ago but having to retire due to power problems. He has also fallen victim to poor strategy and tactics from team principles in past seasons causing his challenge to Verstappen to falter. If all goes well with the car, Ferrari’s number two Carlos Sainz could capitalise on Leclerc’s misfortune and Verstappen’s illness to challenge for his second F1 win. 

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Mercedes will be looking to capitalise on the misfortune of others too as they could seize the opportunity to improve on their 5th place finish in Bahrain and mount their challenge for the top three of the Constructors Championship but they’ll face competition from the Marcos Alonso renaissance with the Spaniard taking third for Aston Martin ahead of Sainz and Hamilton last time out. 

Three drivers failed to finish the previous race with Leclerc sharing the disappointment with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Alpine man Esteban Ocon. Alpha Tauri and Haas will be looking to win points on Sunday while Williams will hope to build on the one point earned by Alexander Albon. 


  1. Verstappen
  2. Leclerc
  3. Sainz

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