- What: Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
- When: Sunday, March 19, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. EST
- Where: Jeddah Street Circut, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Can anyone catch Max Verstappen and the Red Bull racing team? Verstappen and the team continued their dominant performance from last season with a commanding 1-2 finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix a few weeks ago.
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Oddsmakers seem to believe that Max and Red Bull are a step above the rest of the grid. Verstappen has –200 odds to win at Saudi Arabia, while teammate Sergio Perez is right behind at +450.
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It looks like Max and Red Bull’s biggest competition could be his health:
Max has been suffering from a stomach illness over the past few days and, with the agreement of the FIA, will not be present at track today. Feel better, Max. 🙏🦁 https://t.co/f7CMBgchZY
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) March 16, 2023
Jeddah Corniche Circuit
The track in Jeddah is one of the fastest on the circuit and we can expect plenty of changes to it.
There have been barriers and walls moved back as well as new kerbs and rumble strips put in place to make things safer for the drivers.
Let’s see which teams might be able to challenge Red Bull in Jeddah.
The racing world will be watching Fernando Alonso to see if their surprising rise up the grid was a sign of things to come this season or just a one-off. It was the first podium for Alonso in his first race for Aston Martin. Alonso’s 99th career podium, but his first since Qatar 2021.
The car looks very strong because, in addition to Alonso’s strong performance in Bahrain, teammate Lance Stroll also had a good finish (P6). With the third-best odds in the grid at +750, Alonso and Aston Martin are a team to watch as they try and challenge Red Bull.
Ferrari had a disaster of a race in Bahrain to start the season, lead driver Charles Leclerc not being able to finish the race was a devastating blow. The team was forced to fit another control electronics power unit component into his car, which in turn led to a grid penalty.
BREAKING: Charles Leclerc to receive a grid penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/mYvk0RMPHE
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 15, 2023
Despite the penalty, both drivers have fairly competitive odds. Even with the odds being competitive, I’d be hesitant to bet on Leclerc, but Carlos Sainz should have fewer issues without the grid penalty.
Mercedes is looking to rebound from a disappointing start in the first race. All attention is focused on Lewis Hamilton due to his critiques of the team’s performance in Bahrain.
Hamilton’s fifth-place finish led to questions regarding the design of their W14 car. Losing to Red Bull is one thing, but finishing behind Ferrari and Aston Martin is out of the ordinary for Hamilton and Mercedes.
With all the turmoil and questions regarding the car as well as Hamilton’s future with the team, I would advise against betting on Mercedes in Jeddah.
There doesn’t seem to be much value in backing overwhelming favorite Max Verstappen and while it’s tempting to back Sergio Perez, I like a couple of other drivers with better values.
I’d bet on Carlos Sainz or Fernando Alonso to win this race. Both drivers offer odds of +750 or greater giving you a better bang for your buck. Both Spanish drivers have excellent opportunities to deliver crucial victories to their teams.
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