Editor's note: This article has been updated after the FIA handed a ten-second penalty to Fernando Alonso
Editor's note Part 2: This article has been updated ONCE AGAIN after the FIA reversed their ruling on Fernando Alonso's penalty. It's a circus, folks.
The second race of the Formula 1 season has come and gone and the chequered flag belongs to Sergio Perez. The 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix had a lot of highlights and a few lowlights. We're here to break down the five biggest takeaways from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Two races down and we can write in pen the 2023 award winner. A 1-2 finish in Bahrain followed by a 1-2 finish today is just the half of it. Both of the Red Bull cars were so much faster than every other competitor that the announcers were claiming they were racing against F2 cars.
Even with Verstappen failing to reach Q3 and starting 15th, he quickly moved through the field and comfortably ran in second place for most of the day. Checo on the other hand had less action on his drive than I do on my daily commute to work. The race for the Drivers' Championship could come down to a fight between teammates but as for the race between teams, no one is catching Red Bull.
A top finish for Charles Leclerc after taking a ten-place grid penalty was unlikely. Finishing 7th however, well behind the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and behind both Mercedes, is a disappointment. At least he finished this time.
His teammate Carlos Sainz failed to impress as well. While they had some unlucky timing with a safety car, it was clear that Ferrari is not up to snuff. After letting team principal Mattia Binotto go, Ferrari was hoping for a change of luck. Instead they've gotten a change of pace and a fourth place finish in the Constructors could be in order.
For those who thought the 99th podium result for Fernando Alonso was a lucky fluke, think again. This Aston Martin car is here to stay and Fernando's seat switch from 2022 is looking to be prophetic.
Even after being handed a five-second penalty for an incorrect starting position, Alonso was able to hold onto third with no real challenger emerging from the midfield. After Lance Stroll had to retire from the race, the only points available were the elder statesman's to have and have it he did. This could be a magical year for the 'bad guy' and we are ready for it.
The FIA stinks. They handed a ten-second penalty to Fernando Alonso after the race, negating his podium finish. The centennial will have to wait.
THE CENTENNIAL IS BACK ON! What in the world is going on at the FIA right now. Who has authority? Who has the gavel? Why do I feel like it's a Monty Python skit?
After Oscar Piastri started eighth on the grid, the camp at McLaren thought the disappointments of Bahrain were potentially behind them.
There was wing damage for Oscar on the first lap forcing an early pit and your-little-brothers-favorite-driver Lando Norris was also forced to pit early and change the front wing as well. Terrible results once again for Zak Brown's crew. Truth be told, I couldn't be happier.
They failed to record a point in Bahrain but they remain pointless no more. Kevin Magnussen stole tenth place from Yuki Tsunoda late and got on the board for the lovable Haas team. AlphaTauri will have to wait a little longer.
Get ready to wait two weeks once more as we head to Melbourne for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix on April Fools' Day. Last year it was Charles Leclerc who came away with the victory down under as Max Verstappen had to retire due to a fuel leak. Can Sergio keep up this fight for the Drivers' Championship? This season is only heating up.
Head on over to FanDuel Sportsbook to make your predictions for the Australian Grand Prix as well as who you think is going to finish the season at the top of the Drivers' Championship.