Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Unexpected teenage debut in Saudi Arabia GP

Max Verstappen wins 100th career podium in dominating race
Kara Lee

“I really enjoyed it, it was so much fun out there,” 18-year-old Oliver Bearman said on the radio after crossing the finish line in seventh place, scoring points on his Formula 1 debut with Ferrari. The F1 season had its second race of the season on Saturday, March 9 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Bearman, who was in town to race in the Formula 2 category, stepped up to drive for the Italian team after their driver, Carlos Sainz, was hospitalized with appendicitis. 

Max Verstappen, the defending world champion, won the race from pole position in a repeat of the previous race in Bahrain, stepping onto the podium for the 100th time in his career with only 188 race starts. His teammate, Sergio Perez finished second after starting third and overtaking Charles Leclerc, who started in second and finished in third, nearly 10 seconds behind Perez. Verstappen now leads the Drivers Championship with 51 points and Red Bull racing leads the Constructors Championship with 87 points. 

Championship points are awarded to the first 10 place finishers, which included both drivers from the Mercedes and McLaren teams, as well as Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin who finished in fifth place after his teammate, Lance Stroll, crashed in lap six of the Grand Prix and Nico Hulkenberg from Haas who rounded up the point-scorers in 10th place. Stroll was the second driver to drop out of the race after Pierre Gasly from Alpine was called into the pits during the first lap with technical problems that forced him to retire the car. Zhou Guanyu finished the race in last place after a lengthy pit stop forced him to the back of the line. 

Verstappen finished the race with an 8.643-second lead on his teammate Perez, who in turn made a difference of 9.996 against Leclerc. Perez got five seconds added to his time after the race as a penalty for an unsafe release during his pit stop, an incident in which he came out of his box ahead of time and would have hit Alonso’s Aston Martin had the other driver not braked in time. 

Like in Bahrain, the race proved disappointing for the Mercedes team, with their drivers finishing in sixth and ninth place after poor car performance and bad strategies. Lewis Hamilton, who finished ninth, was held off from pitting for the majority of the race and when he was finally called in, dropped many positions and was unable to recover. Lando Norris from McLaren, who finished eighth, had the same strategy and the same unlucky outcome. 

“We took a little bit of a gamble,” Norris said in a post-race press interview, available on Formula 1’s official YouTube. “We gave it a good shot, could have worked, it didn’t, but that’s how it is sometimes.”

“It was worth the gamble,” Hamilton said of the strategy. “Unfortunately, it went backward a little bit. But [I] gave it everything and that was the best result I could get.”

Norris’ teammate Oscar Piastri brought the team 12 points with his fourth-place finish, benefiting from Hamilton’s pit stop pushing him back after being unable to pass him for over half the race. 

“I think that’s the most we could have done,” Piastri said after the race,  “Got stuck behind Lewis for a long time, then once he pitted I was okay. Definitely showed some things we need to improve a little bit.”

The fastest lap of the race, which awards one extra point, went to Leclerc with a time of 1:31.632, and the fastest pit stop went to Red Bull with a time of 2.44.

The Australia Grand Prix is less than one week away, kicking off on Friday in the city of Melbourne, and the third race of the season will fall at 11 p.m. Saturday CST.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Marcela Montufar Soria
Marcela Montufar Soria, Multimedia Editor
Marcela (She/Her/Ella) is an Honors College History and Classical Studies and Humanities major with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in East Asian Studies. She is an international student from Mexico and is the fourth member of her family to be a student at UTSA. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate education in Chinese history. Outside of school, Marcela volunteers at the Witte Museum as a gallery attendant during the weekends. Her hobbies include violin playing, amateur stargazing, video editing, writing, reading non-fiction, and painting. She joined the Paisano in Fall 2021, became Assistant Multimedia Editor in Spring 2022, and became Multimedia Editor in Spring 2023.
Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

Comments (0)

The Paisano intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Paisano does not allow anonymous comments, and The Paisano requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Paisano Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *