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Saudi Arabian GP: Max Verstappen wins in Jeddah in Red Bull

Formula 1

Max Verstappen continued the immaculate start to his quest for a fourth consecutive F1 world title with a comfortable win over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez in the Saudi Arabian GP, as Ferrari stand-in Oliver Bearman finished a surging seventh and scored points on his unexpected F1 debut.
Formula 1

With Verstappen cantering to his second win in a row at the start of the new 2024 season – and a ninth in succession overall, one shy of his own all-time F1 record – around the high-speed Jeddah street track, much of the focus in the race was again on the fights behind him, with British debutant Bearman capturing much of the attention.

The 18-year-old, who had only learned on Friday morning after the opening day of practice had been completed that he would be making his F1 debut this weekend after Carlos Sainz was diagnosed with appendicitis and had to undergo surgery, had already qualified an impressive 11th in a car he had never driven in a sure-footed performance on Friday.

The Ferrari reserve driver’s assuredness only grew in his maiden Grand Prix.

Moving into points positions mid-way through the 50-lap race, Bearman eventually moved up to seventh and kept his composure into the closing stages despite knowing he had fellow Britons Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton chasing him down on fresher tyres across the final 10 laps.

By finishing seventh Bearman, who is the third-youngest F1 driver ever and the youngest Ferrari driver of all time, scored the best race result for a debutant since Brazil’s Felipe Nasr took fifth at his first race in 2015.