In a Formula 1 World Cup in which “Red Bull can win all the races”, according to George Russell released after the premiere in Bahrain two weeks ago, any problem with the energetic cars upsets the grid, especially among those who follow more than close to the world champions. If the protagonist of the trigger is Max Verstappen, the effect is double because it concentrates the pressure on Checo Pérez, the Dutch pilot’s luxury squire. A breakdown in the drive shaft of the Mad Max car during the second qualifying sieve will force him to start 15th in Jeddah (6:00 p.m., Dazn), where his teammate won the second pole of his career, after the one he achieved last year on this same stage. Next to him will be Fernando Alonso, who once again made it clear that Aston Martin is ready for the highest levels, and to take advantage of any Red Bull oversight. The Asturian finished with the third fastest time, just behind Charles Leclerc, but the 10-position penalty that the Monegasque from Ferrari drags for resorting to the third electronic engine control unit, will pave the way for the Oviedo native. Russell will start third and Carlos Sainz will start fourth.

A storm is brewing this Sunday in Saudi Arabia, where Verstappen is expected to come out on fire, determined to put his RB19 on the podium even though the stage, an urban circuit, is not going to put things off for the two-time champion. Under normal conditions, the pertinent question is not whether he will be able to get into position to step on the box, but rather how many turns he will need to do so and where the others will be when that happens. Any appearance of the safety car, which is common on this type of track, surrounded by walls, would regroup the herd, leaving it at the mercy of the wolf. In this scenario it will be necessary to see how Red Bull handles the situation, a structure that tilts towards the side of the workshop that has more weight for obvious reasons, and what influence that has on the rest of the peloton. Especially in the case of Alonso, who had not started from the front row since the Canadian Grand Prix the previous year, even though the rain intervened in Montreal.

“I don’t think there is any chance of taking the win away from Checo. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but that doesn’t have to be our goal. In rhythm, the Red Bulls are in another league, ”summed up the Spaniard, convinced that he will meet Verstappen on the track. “Max was in another dimension (in qualifying), but F1 is not mathematical, and no one would have placed him 15th on the grid. But it will come and, at least, it will end on the podium”, added Alonso, who encourages the troops from Silverstone (Great Britain) to keep their feet on the ground, despite the rush with which they travel since the World Cup began. shoot in Bahrain. “When we started this season, facing Red Bull for winning was not one of our goals. The most important thing is to accumulate points with a view to the Constructors’ World Cup”, argued the Aston Martin rider, who has spent a month trying to reduce the euphoria generated by the performance of the AMR23, a car that nobody expected so high and that, with the passing of sessions, you unlock your potential. “The race will be decided by the small details. The start, tire management, strategy and also luck. As a team we are ready to face everything that is in our hands. We will try to maximize our strengths”, Alonso settled.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more

Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

Leave a Reply