One of the standout performances during the race was by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who had the fastest time through sector 1 during qualifying. This proved to be a significant advantage for him and the team, as he was able to maintain his lead during the race and ultimately finish in a respectable 5th place.
Alpine continued to demonstrate their strong pace, with Fernando Alonso setting the fastest lap times on hard tires. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also showed impressive pace on hard tires, while the Red Bulls struggled to find their rhythm. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, who started the race from the back of the grid, managed to climb up to 8th and 9th places respectively by the end of the race, showcasing their strong race pace.
Meanwhile, McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris both had challenging races due to incidents on the track. Piastri had to pit early on in the race after a collision with Gasly, which left his front wing compromised. Despite this setback, he managed to finish the race on the same set of tires, showing his skill in managing his resources. Norris, on the other hand, had to change from soft to hard compound tires due to a damaged front wing after running over his teammate’s debris. He later took the opportunity to change to mediums during the safety car interval.
Another team that had a noteworthy performance was Williams, who defied their one-lap performance during qualifying and showed good pace during the race. However, they were unable to translate this into a podium finish and ultimately finished in the lower midfield.
In terms of tire strategies, most drivers started the race on medium tires and continued on them until the safety car interval, where they had the opportunity to change to hard tires. However, McLaren drivers changed their tires early on in the race, with Piastri changing from medium to hard tires on lap 1 and Norris changing from soft to hard compound tires later on.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix saw Alpine emerge as the leading team in the midfield, with strong performances from Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso. McLaren and Ferrari showed promise with their pace on hard tires, while Red Bull had a relatively lackluster performance compared to their dominant showing in Bahrain. The next race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, will provide a new challenge for the teams, with its fast straights and technical corners, and it will be interesting to see how they will adapt their setups and strategies to the demands of the circuit.
Overall, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix proved to be a challenging race for many teams and drivers, with the low abrasive nature of the track presenting setup challenges and making it difficult to bring the tires to optimum temperatures. Despite this, some drivers and teams were able to rise to the occasion and deliver impressive performances, showcasing their skill and resilience in the face of adversity.
In conclusion, the 2023 Formula 1 season is shaping up to be an exciting one, with several teams vying for the top spot and others fighting to make their mark in the midfield. The next race on the calendar is the Chinese Grand Prix, and it will be interesting to see how the teams and drivers fare on the challenging Shanghai International Circuit.