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Team by team analysis of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
- Updated: December 6, 2021
Team by team analysis of Sunday’s inaugural Saudi Arabian Formula One Grand Prix in Jeddah (in current championship order):
MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 3)
Hamilton started on pole initially and took the 103rd win of his career, third in a row and eighth of the season to level on points with Verstappen, who still leads on race wins. He also set the fastest lap. Bottas, in his 100th race for Mercedes, took third from Ocon by 30 metres in a dash for the line. Mercedes are now 28 points ahead of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship.
RED BULL (Max Verstappen 2, Sergio Perez retired)
Verstappen was third initially but stayed out when the safety car was deployed and Hamilton and Bottas pitted. Red flags gave him a free pitstop. He led from the re-start but the race was stopped again and he had to line up behind Hamilton and Ocon as a penalty for gaining an advantage by going off. He then had to hand the lead to Hamilton on lap 38 for another aggressive defence and the pair collided. Perez crashed at the first re-start after contact with Leclerc.
FERRARI (Charles Leclerc 7, Carlos Sainz 8)
Leclerc pitted when the safety car was first deployed, an advantage that disappeared with the red flags. He made contact with Perez at the first re-start but was able to continue. Sainz went from 15th to eighth. Ferrari’s advantage over McLaren was trimmed to 38.5 points, but third place looks secure.
MCLAREN (Daniel Ricciardo 5, Lando Norris 10)
Ricciardo made up places at the starts, rising from 11th to fourth before a late battle with Bottas. The first red flag cost Norris positions.
ALPINE (Esteban Ocon 4, Fernando Alonso 13)
Ocon was first at the final re-start and went three-abreast with Hamilton and Verstappen, losing out to both. He came within touching distance of the podium but was beaten by Bottas on the final straight. Alonso said his race was effectively over at the first red flag, having already pitted.
ALPHATAURI (Pierre Gasly 6, Yuki Tsunoda 14)
Tsunoda collided with Vettel at turn one while in ninth place, losing his front wing. He was given a five-second time penalty, with the virtual safety car deployed due to the debris on track. Gasly started sixth but was eighth after lap one.
ASTON MARTIN (Lance Stroll 11, Sebastian Vettel retired)
Stroll lost out to Norris after climbing to 10th. Vettel suffered significant floor damage in the collision with Tsunoda, which sent him into a spin, and then had another clash with Raikkonen which caused further damage.
WILLIAMS (Nicholas Latifi 12, George Russell retired)
Russell retired after a lap 15 collision with Mazepin at the first re-start, which led to more red flags. Williams are 10 points clear of Alfa Romeo.
ALFA ROMEO (Antonio Giovinazzi 9, Kimi Raikkonen 15)
Giovinazzi scored in his penultimate race for the team, running seventh for much of the race before losing out to the Ferrari drivers. Raikkonen’s race was wrecked by the contact with Vettel.
HAAS (Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher retired)
Schumacher crashed into the barrier on lap 10, bringing out the safety car and then red flags. Mazepin crashed out at the re-start.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Stephen Coates