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The 2023 Formula One season returns to action in Saudi Arabia this weekend. Will any of the teams take the fight to the dominant Red Bull? What are your F1 predictions for the 2023 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix?
Perez to Win
Verstappen Podium Finish
Piastri Points Finish
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Latest F1 Predictions: What will happen at this weekend’s race?
The 6.174 km Jeddah Street Circuit produces some neck-breaking speed and will host the second round of F1 2023. It will be Formula One’s third visit to the track, which joined the schedule in 2022.
Verstappen enters the weekend as the championship leader and the defending race winner. His campaign for the three-peat is already off to a very strong start, which obviously isn’t good news for the competition. Is the Dutchman going to waltz to another world championship?
Saudi Arabia GP Overview
There are a few exciting things that we need to watch out for in the upcoming Saudi Arabia GP…
Can we expect more of the same, with Verstappen just pulling away from the field, never to be seen until the checkered? Can Sergio Perez put up a fight? Will Aston Martin remain as the second force, behind Red Bull, in a distinctively different racetrack compared to Sakhir? And what about Ferrari – can the Scuderia bounce back from its Bahrain disappointment?
F1 Latest Race Results
Sergio Perez won the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix from pole, leading home Max Verstappen. The defending two-time champion pulled off an incredible recovery drive, moving from 15th at the start to second at the finish. Fernando Alonso finished third on the road, but ended up with a ten-second penalty as a result of an incorrect procedure by Aston Martin when servicing his car. The team failed to serve a previous five-second penalty incurred by Alonso at the start. George Russell moved up to third, with Alonso dropping to fourth. A few hours later, the FIA accepted a protest by Aston Martin and overruled the previous decision, with Alonso returning to third place.
Verstappen set the fastest lap on his final tour of the Jeddah Street Circuit, which was just enough to keep him ahead of Perez in the drivers’ championship.
Saudi Arabia Grand Prix Race Recap
Perez lost the lead to Alonso at the start, as the Spaniard had a better run off the line and into turn 1. But the Mexican remained within DRS range, reducing the gap before overtaking once the overtake assist became available on lap 3.
Verstappen slowly picked his way up the order before the first pit stop cycle. Leclerc did the same after starting down in 12th. The 2022 championship rivals moved to fourth and fifth respectively before the first and only pit stop cycle.
Lance Stroll stopped on the track with an energy issue, triggering the race’s lone Safety Car intervention. The leaders took the chance to pit, with Perez emerging on the lead ahead of Alonso, Russell, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.
As soon as DRS became available, Verstappen quickly disposed of Alonso and Russell to move into second. But Perez had already opened up a safe five-second gap over his teammate, which he controlled all the way to the checkered flag. Alonso remained in third until the end of the race to secure back-to-back top 3 finishes for Aston Martin – as well as his 100th career podium.
Russell had to briefly hold Hamilton off. The seven-time champion was the only driver to run the final stint on medium tyres, but struggled for pace once the wear became more pronounced. Ferrari once again struggled, finishing a distant sixth and seventh with Sainz and Leclerc.
F1 Predictions for This Weekend’s Grand Prix
Prediction #1: Perez to Win
Switching favourites, Perez is the one well set-up for a win. Red Bull’s pace advantage is still massive, as the Mexican topped Q3 with a 0.4s advantage over Leclerc and Alonso. The RB19 excels at long runs, as Red Bull’s F1 car was easily lapping over half-a-second faster than its closest rivals in Bahrain.
Tyre degradation won’t be as much of a problem for the other teams this time around, but the Austrian team is still miles ahead of the rest of the field.
Prediction #2: Verstappen to Finish on the Podium
What now for Verstappen? The Dutchman missed out on Q3 for the first time in over a year, ending a 30-race streak. But it’s far from over for the defending champion.
Jeddah’s long straights and DRS zones offer plenty of overtaking opportunities. When you take Red Bull’s massive pace advantage into account, a podium suddenly becomes a very real possibility. F2 driver Victor Martins moved up from 10th to second on the feeder series’ sprint race earlier this Saturday, proving that a fast car can advance from a low grid position at the Saudi Arabian street circuit.
Can Verstappen pull off a repeat of last year’s Belgian and Italian GPs?
Prediction #3: Oscar Piastri to Finish in the Points
The young Australian was one of the positive surprises in Saudi Arabia this Saturday. Piastri made it to Q3 for the first time, quickly bouncing back from his disappointing debut race – which was cut short by a mechanical failure.
After Leclerc’s grid drop, Piastri will line up eighth on Sunday. McLaren’s reliability is a big question mark, as both cars ran into different problems in Bahrain. However, on raw pace alone, the former junior single seater superstar seemingly has enough to challenge for a top 10 finish.
Your Expert Guide To F1 Predictions
F1 Betting Tips
To get started with betting on Formula One, it’s important to first understand what tools are available to you. You will also need a deeper understanding of the sport than the normal spectator. If you have the right knowledge, you’ll be able to identify the best bets and make accurate predictions. Here are some of our top tips for getting started with F1 betting.
Use F1 Stats
Stats are as important in Formula One as they are in any other sport. Even the smallest details can be pivotal if you want to beat the bookies. 4mula1 Stats and StatsF1.com are two excellent stats sites to use to stay on top of the numbers and implement a data-driven strategy for your betting.
Understand the history of F1 drivers
Knowing how F1 drivers have performed in certain weather conditions, on specific tracks, and in other circumstances can help you make accurate F1 predictions and informed betting decisions.
Get to know the engines
Just like drivers perform differently depending on the track, so do the car engines. Learn how your favoured cars perform on straight, curved, wet, or dry tracks. This can be tricky at the start of the season, as new car models and updates are released every year. However, by the middle of the season, you should have collected enough data to make an informed bet.
You can find different previews on different sites. It’s best to research as much as you can, even if you read information that doesn’t seem related – like about the drivers’ private lives. This can affect F1 predictions, even if it doesn’t seem so on the surface.
Keep an eye on the weather
Weather can make or break a race. Unexpected rain, humidity and temperatures can cause chaos and drama on the track. So keeping an eye on weather forecasts can again help with making an informed bet and accurate F1 predictions.
Watch the qualifying sessions
The qualifying sessions determine the grid position of the race. Whoever has the fastest time in a qualifying session starts in P1 in the race. This can of course monumentally impact the outcome of the race, so it’s important to stay updated on the results of the qualifying sessions to make accurate F1 predictions.
Formula 1 Tournament Structure
The Formula 1 2022 season will feature 23 races, each with 20 drivers competing. These 20 drivers represent the ten teams, so each team has two drivers. While this might seem like there’s one less rival for each driver, there’s competition even within teams. Drivers have to prove that they deserve to take one of the two coveted spots in their team.
As a driver, the main goal of the F1 season is to finish with the most points, but how does this work?
How are points awarded in F1?
Scoring in Formula One may appear complicated at first, but it is actually quite simple.
The top ten starting drivers will earn points out of the 20 total. Number ten gets one point, number nine gets two points, eight gets four, seven gets six, six gets eight, five gets ten, four gets twelve, third gets 15, second gets 18, and lastly, first place gets 25 points.
At the end of the season, the points are tallied, and the driver with the most points wins the trophy and the Drivers’ Champion. The team with the most points wins the Constructors’ Championship.
What is DRS in F1?
DRS can make or break the race for drivers and adds a very entertaining twist to what would otherwise be a typical race. DRS stands for Drag Reduction System, and you should understand what this means before watching Formula One.
Each car has a retractable rear wing that is normally closed. In some cases, this can be left open, allowing air to flow through and reducing drag on the car. This is great for overtaking because it increases the car’s speed. But it can only be used if the driver is chasing a car, and is no more than 1 second behind him.
Only the driver who is behind can use his DRS. The two drivers also have to be within a DRS zone. The stewards have already marked out a DRS zone, which is long and straight. Every race typically has between one and three DRS zones.
How do F1 tyres work?
During the racing season, each team has access to a total of seven tyre compounds. Five of these compounds, denoted C1 – C5, are for dry weather (C1 being the hardest and C5 being the softest). The remaining two compounds are for driving in wet conditions. The one with the green stripe is the Intermediate tyre, and the one with the blue stripe is the Full Wet tyre.
Pirelli will select three dry types to be used during a normal, dry-weather race. During the race, each driver must use two of the three selected tyres.