Round 21 of Formula 1, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, was without question the wildest race of the year! Epic battles, crashes, red flag after red flag and yellow flag after yellow flag, we were on our toes the entire race. The conclusion of this race, which we’ll get to shortly, makes the Championship rest on the final race of the year! Let’s get into the details:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
Lap 1 gave us some quick drama as we approached the first few corners of this crammed track. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) touched wheels and side-aero trying to gain advantage of place while George Russel (Williams) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) also touched wheels due to being crammed in a traffic jam. This circuit is tough because it is relatively thin in many areas, making it difficult to pass and can cause traffic jams.
Fast forward to Lap 10, our first crash appears. Mick Schumacher (Haas) lost control on one of the esse’s and crashed into the barriers. Initially, this caused a dual yellow flag and several teams pitted for a change of tires to take advantage of the situation. As 4 laps passed, Lap 14, the race was Red Flagged in order to clear Schumacher’s car and debris from the track. The race resumed on Lap 15.
Almost immediately upon restarting the race on Lap 15, three more drivers crashed and brought the race back into a Red Flag halting the race. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) had a huge tire collision with Charles LeClerc (Ferrari), Perez’s Rear Left Tire caught LeClerc’s Front Right Tire, throwing Perez into the barriers and shredding his front wing and front end. This accident caused a wave of distraction to the rest of the drivers and Nikita Mazepin (Haas) completely crashed into the back of George Russel (Williams) due to a traffic jam. Thus, 4 drivers are now out of the race and it’s only Lap 15! The race resumed on Lap 17.
Lap 17 brought some more physicality to the race, as Esteban Ocon’s (Alpine) left-side body touched Lewis Hamilton’s (Mercedes) front right tire fighting for placement.
Lap 23 ended up with a Yellow Virtual Safety Car due to a Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) accident. At Turn 2, Tsunoda crashed into the barriers and damaged his Front Wing after contact with Vettel. Tsunoda was at fault and was given a 5-second time penalty for the incident. Tsunoda was forced to pit for a new Front Wing and the race resumed on Lap 24.
Lap 27 demonstrated another accident between two close friends and F1 World Champions. Kimi Raikkonen’s (Alfa Romeo) Front Left Tire made contact with Sebastian Vettel’s (Aston Martin) Front Wing. This called for a Yellow Virtual Safety Car in order to clear the track of debris and Raikkonen was forced to pit for a new set of tires and front wing. The race resumed on Lap 28.
On Lap 29, the race called for a Yellow Virtual Safety Car again to further clear track debris from all the accidents that have been occurring. The race resumed on Lap 33.
On Lap 36, the race called for another Yellow Virtual Safety Car again to further clear even more track debris from all the accidents that have been occurring. The race resumed shortly after.
Lap 37 brought us quite the battle between Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). The two battled it out throughout the esse’s and nearly collided with one another, with Max going over the curbs and driving back onto the track to take first. This move by Max was noted by the FIA and ultimately resulted in a 5-second time penalty for Max, but further drama occurred shortly after. Max Verstappen was told to give the first place position back to Lewis Hamilton on the upcoming straight and Lewis Hamilton then slightly crashed into the back of Verstappen! Both teams entirely blew up in their pit garages. This was, in our opinion, a communication error on the FIA. The FIA told Red Bull to give the position back to Mercedes without telling Mercedes first. By telling Red Bull first, Red Bull immediately instructed Verstappen to slow down and give the place back to Lewis. When Max slowed down and Lewis hit Max from behind, Lewis was unaware of what was going on because the FIA was late in telling Mercedes what was going to happen. See the communication error? By telling Red Bull first, Max slowed down immediately causing Lewis to ram him from behind. Max stormed ahead after being hit, but was then forced to give the position back to Lewis around Lap 42.
Lap 46, Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) was forced to retire due to excessive body damage that was causing debris to continuously go onto the track from two previous racing accidents. Thus, 5 drivers are now out of the race.
Concluding, this race was beyond wild and ended with Max and Lewis officially being tied in points. The Championship will be decided at the final race of the year, Abu Dhabi!
The results of the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix resulted in the following:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
4. (Fastest Lap) – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 1:30:734
Here are the Current Standings for Formula 1 Drivers Points:
1. Max Verstappen – 369.5
2. Lewis Hamilton – 369.5
3. Valtteri Bottas – 218
4. Sergio Perez – 190
5. Charles LeClerc – 158
6. Lando Norris – 154
7. Carlos Sainz – 149.5
8. Daniel Ricciardo – 115
9. Pierre Gasly –100
10. Fernando Alonso – 77
11. Esteban Ocon – 72
12. Sebastian Vettel – 43
13. Lance Stroll – 34
14. Yuki Tsunoda – 20
15. George Russell – 16
16. Kimi Raikkonen – 10
17. Nicholas Latifi – 7
18. Antonio Giovinazzi – 3
19. Mick Schumacher – 0
20. Robert Kubica – 0
21. Nikita Mazepin – 0
Here are the Current Standings for Formula 1 Constructors Points:
1. Mercedes – 587.5
2. Red Bull – 559.5
3. Ferrari – 307.5
4. McLaren – 269
5. Alpine – 149
6. AlphaTauri – 120
7. Aston Martin – 77
8. Williams – 23
9. Alfa Romeo – 13
10. HAAS – 0
The Formula 1 season takes us next to Abu Dhabi for Round 22 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi for the final race of the year! The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will take place from December 10th to December 12th. The Yas Marina Circuit is a 58 lap race consisting of 16 turns and spans 5.281km (3.281 miles) per lap. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) currently holds the fastest lap time of 1:39:283 from the 2019 Season! Hopefully, we’ll see you there and we can’t wait for Round 22!
If you missed Round 20 details of Formula 1, the Qatar Grand Prix, Click Here to read!
Photo Credit for Image Used – Formula 1 Instagram (@f1)