So we are back in Jeddah in what can inly be described as a unique race weekend. Practice sessions started off with a missile attack on an Aramco compound… I shit you not. Following deliberations between teams, the fia, and the Saudi government, the decision was taken to keep the races going. Why the fuck not eh?
Mercedes powered cars have once again dominated… the bottom half of the grid. It is astounding how much off pace Mercedes power units are in this generation. Mercedes showed off a brand new front and rear wing design to try and improve their pace, but judging from the timings it did not work. Tsunoda somehow was sporting a new power unit so early in the season but ended up not finishing after encountering a fuel issue. Was this another issue of vacuuming as suffered by the Redbulls last week?
Q1 was red flagged pretty early following a crash by none other than Latifi. Q2 was also red flagged after a massive crash by Mick Schumacher who was having a fantastic flying lap outperforming the Kmag. He lost control of the car in turn ten and landed in the barriers.
The Ferraris dominated the circuit throughout all qualifying sessions, giving both Redbulls a run for their money. Leclerc took the provisional pole followed by Sainz with less than a minute to go, however is a shocking turn of events Perez stole the pole (his first career pole) in the very last flying lap. Verstappen landed in P4.
Hamilton was severely off pace compared to Russel and was eliminated in Q1. Is this the beginning of the end for the GOAT? Last time he was eliminated was in 2017 and only because he crashed. His team mate will be started tomorrow’s in P5 next to Bottas in P6… awkward.
Both Norris and Ricciardo managed to arrive in Q2 performing marginally better compared to the practice sessions. Ricciardo might receive a grid penalty after impeding a flying lap for Esteban Ocon. Both Norris and Ricciardo were eliminated in Q2 and landed in P11 and P12. The Mclaren team is still way behind the top quarter of the grid but they seem to have improved a bit.
Tomorrow will be another weird race in Jeddah but its clear that the Ferraris and Redbulls will be dominating. Will we see another Ferrari 1-2 or will the Redbulls have the upper-hand?