The second race of the 2023 Method 1 season is right here, with the circuit in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The 20 drivers will navigate the twists and turns of the quickest road circuit on the planet, with drivers reaching common speeds round 155 miles per hour. Past the speeds, are the twists and turns, with the Jeddah Corniche Circuit putting 27 demanding turns in entrance of the drivers, together with the tough Turns 22 and 23.

Talking of twists and turns, this week has delivered its share. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, regardless of posting the second-fastest qualifying time on Saturday, will begin twelfth on Sunday, because of the staff turning to the third set of management electronics in simply the second race of the season.

Becoming a member of Leclerc in the course of the sector? Max Verstappen. The defending world champion was sturdy all through the three practices and the primary qualifying session, however a driveshaft failure throughout Q2 noticed him retire the RB19 throughout the second session, and he’ll begin Sunday in fifteenth.

Right here is the total qualifying order, and what to look at for throughout the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. You’ll be able to wager on the race at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Place Driver Group Place Driver Group
Place Driver Group Place Driver Group
1 Sergio Pérez Purple Bull 2 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
3 George Russell Mercedes 4 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari
5 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 6 Esteban Ocon Alpine
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 8 Oscar Piastri McLaren
9 Pierre Gasly Alpine 10 Nico Hülkenberg Haas
11 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 12 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
13 Kevin Magnessen Haas 14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo
15 Max Verstappen Purple Bull 16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri
17 Alex Albon Williams 18 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri
19 Lando Norris McLaren 20 Logan Sargeant Williams

What to look at for within the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Can Aston Martin stay sturdy?

Maybe the largest storyline popping out of the Bahrain Grand Prix was the efficiency from Aston Martin. Lance Stroll, battling again from a coaching accident that left him with fractures in each wrists, completed in P6, whereas teammate Fernando Alonso secured his first podium since 2021, to complete in P3.

After Saturday’s qualifying classes, the 2 Aston Martin drivers are in place to construct on that success. Stroll will roll off the road fifth, whereas Alonso will begin second because of Leclerc’s grid penalty, placing him on the entrance row for the primary time since 2012. The 41-year-old driver can be the oldest driver to safe a beginning spot within the entrance row since Michael Schumacher began second within the 2012 Chinese language Grand Prix.

After qualifying, Alonso addressed his probabilities of grabbing a victory at Jeddah. The veteran driver downplayed his odds of a win, however pointed to how Aston Martin was in line for an excellent day. “I don’t wish to sound pessimistic but when we see the tempo the entire weekend in free observe, we see the Bahrain race, we’ve got to be sincere with ourselves and know that Purple Bull is just a little bit forward of everybody,” mentioned Alonso after qualifying. “In order that’s not, let’s say, the goal tomorrow, you already know, to struggle for the win with Checo. However as I mentioned earlier than, Method 1 isn’t actual arithmetic, you already know, something can occur and immediately no one among us will put Verstappen P15, you already know, however these items occur typically. So, for us, an important factor is to attain factors. We’re beginning each automobiles within the prime 5. We attempt to end each automobiles within the prime 5 and maintain accumulating factors for the Constructors’ Championship. That’s the principle objective for Aston Martin this yr.”

The potential is there for Aston Martin to have an enormous day, now we’ve got to see in the event that they ship.

Can Sergio Pérez break by way of at Jeddah?

For the second-straight yr, Purple Bull’s Sergio Pérez certified in pole place.

Is that this the yr he breaks by way of at Jeddah?

Pérez certified in fifth place for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021, however a collision on Lap 14 compelled an early retirement. Pérez certified on pole for final season’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, however an unfortunately-timed security automotive — coming after Pérez had simply made a pit cease — opened the door for Verstappen, Leclerc, and Carlos Sainz Jr. to restart in entrance of him.

Pérez would finally end fourth.

Saturday after qualifying, Pérez talked trackside about his success in qualifying at Jeddah, and his probabilities for Sunday. “It was tough. It was tough that Q3, particularly [after] not getting that second lap,” mentioned Pérez in an interview proper after qualifying. “That [first lap] was fairly good, you already know, it was fairly clear, actually clear. Nailing that lap, you already know, you actually really feel the Method 1 automobiles coming alive on this place and yeah simply maximising that lap was essential, you already know, as a result of with the difficulty we had into the ultimate run it was actually essential because the observe was enhancing.”

Pérez has proven the power to place down some quick laps at Jeddah. Sunday we are going to see if he can string sufficient collectively to complete on the entrance.

Is Sunday the day Alpine makes some noise of their very own?

Throughout practices on Friday, Alpine appeared to have one thing up their sleeves for the sector.

They confirmed that on Saturday.

Each Alpine drivers will begin inside the highest ten, with Esteban Ocon rolling off in sixth, and Pierre Gasly beginning in P9. The staff was assured within the wake of that efficiency, and Gasly indicated that double factors for the staff are on the desk. “Our race tempo has been good, we confirmed that in Bahrain, and in Follow yesterday, and I’m feeling assured that double factors are achievable.”

Can Verstappen, Leclerc, or each work some magic from the center?

Up till the second qualifying session, Verstappen was the strongest driver within the discipline. However the driveshaft challenge his RB19 suffered will see the defending world champion come off the road in P15 Sunday.

Leclerc posted the second-fastest time in Q3, however due to his grid penalty, the Ferrari driver will come off the road twelfth.

Can both driver — or each — work some magic from the midfield at Jeddah? There’s some precedent for this. Final season, Lewis Hamilton began fifteenth, however completed tenth, making up 5 spots throughout the race. Nico Hülkenberg, driving for Aston Martin, made up 5 spots as properly, ending twelfth after beginning seventeenth.

There was much more motion within the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Each Stroll and Sainz Jr. picked up seven spots throughout the race. Stroll began 18th however completed eleventh, and Sainz completed eighth after beginning in fifteenth place.

So there may be hope for each drivers that they will make one thing occur on Sunday. Leclerc addressed in his post-qualifying feedback the chance that he might make up some place within the Grand Prix. “I believe our race tempo is stronger this weekend. So this can be a good factor. Then, I don’t know the way straightforward it’s going to be to overhaul on this observe as a result of the midfield appears to be all extraordinarily shut when it comes to race tempo,” mentioned Leclerc. “And when you have a DRS practice, then it makes issues very tough. However I’ll give my greatest, attempt to come again to the entrance as shortly as potential. And we’ll see what occurs.”

Is the Mercedes comeback upon us?

Earlier this week Mercedes Group Principal Toto Wolff famous that that the staff was bringing some “small developments” to Jeddah. Whereas Wolff cautioned that “they received’t be recreation changers,” Sunday will see each Mercedes drivers beginning inside the highest ten, with Lewis Hamilton in P7, and George Russell in P3.

When Russell got here throughout the road on the finish of the third qualifying session, he appeared pretty happy with how the W14 carried out:

Is that this an indication of higher days forward for the Silver Arrows?

In a number of hours, we are going to know for positive.