The Aston Martin, penalized after the race because a mechanic touched the car when he shouldn't
Sergio Pérez wins ahead of Verstappen and Carlos Sainz finishes sixth
The Spanish Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) finished third this Sunday in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the second round of the World Cup, but after celebrating his 100th podium came the news of a 10-second penalty because a mechanic touched his car during the 5-second penalty that he was serving in the pits.
Alonso keeps his enthusiasm intact with the new Aston Martin project, but a couple of oversights cost him the second podium in a row after being third in Bahrain two weeks ago. The double world champion misplaced his car at the start and was penalized for five seconds. From there came a greater penalty, with that mechanic who touched the car with the jack in breach of the norm.
The double world champion, who started second, fought as hard as he could and, after a safety car, with 30 laps to go, he held on only behind the Red Bulls. Sergio Pérez was intractable, even for a Verstappen who came from fifteenth position but had to settle for being second. George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were fourth and fifth, although Russell took the podium late on, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, in a race unchanged from general entry into the pits leaving the safety car.
As usual every weekend at the 'Gran Circo', everything seemed possible this Sunday at the Saudi track and it was like that until after the checkered flag. The roller coaster of emotions began with the green light and a spectacular start from Alonso to take first. However, after a few turns, the FIA announced the investigation into the Spaniard for not having his car well placed and almost the immediate sanction.
Five seconds to go in the pit lane even though his Aston Martin was not ahead, just a little off to the left. Pérez did not take long to pass Alonso but by radio they told the Asturian that Plan A was still underway. The green car stuck as close as possible to the Red Bull, while from behind it did not seem that anyone could fly over the Jeddah track.
Leclerc did not do it on a soft tire, forced to force starting twelfth due to his sanction, and Verstappen gradually climbed, who had a breakdown in Q2 on Saturday and also left behind. Russell, Stroll and Sainz was the fight that followed Pérez and Alonso, but the conditions of Jeddah, narrow with those walls and high speed, made a safety car foreseeable.
That's how it was, because of Stroll's Aston Martin out of action, and he penalized the Ferraris, who had just made their stop. The rest of the top then entered, with a regrouped race that raised the stakes for Alonso, with a lot of 'bug' in his wake. However, Alonso held the Mercedes, not a direct Verstappen for his teammate in another double sung for Red Bull.
The Asturian kept Russell firm and secured a carat podium, which he was able to celebrate with champagne but which was not worth it due to that sanction that the FIA took an hour to announce. The Briton was even told to try to reduce the five-second difference with Alonso, in case the penalty at the start had not been carried out correctly, and in the end Mercedes found himself with a bigger carambola.
While Verstappen could not hunt down a Sergio Pérez who signed the fifth victory of his career. All in all, the Dutchman, champion in Bahrain, kept the World Championship lead by doing the fastest lap in the last one. Meanwhile, Ferrari closed without penalty or glory, without the rhythm to fight for the podium and seeing itself surpassed by Mercedes, with Leclerc complaining about going behind Sainz.