Just seven days after the opening race of the 2022 season in Bahrain, the riders are on their way back to the track for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc was the man to beat in Bahrain and comfortably took home the third victory of his career, which Max Verstappen was forced to withdraw too late due to a problem with the vacuum system in the fuel system.
How to see the weekend’s races, and what you need to be aware of:
Leclerc seems to be expanding the advantage
It was a long time ago a Ferrari Grand Prix victory, and it’s even longer since a Ferrari driver topped the drivers’ championship.
The most famous team in the sport has returned to the top after a few years of stagnation, but now they want to prove that it was not just a single time.
How to watch the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix 2022
(All times GMT)
Friday, March 25th
- Practice one (14.00-15.00; Sky Sports Main Event / F1)
- Exercise two (17.00-18.00; Sky Sports Main Event / F1)
Saturday, March 26th
- Exercise three (14.00-15.00; Sky Sports F1)
- Qualification (17.00-18.00; Sky Sports Main Event / F1)
Sunday, March 27th
- Saudi Arabia Grand Prix Grand Prix (18:00; Sky Sports Main Event / F1)
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Throughout the test and the first race, the Ferrari car not only looked fast, but any team that had a Ferrari engine to drive them proved to be one of the fastest on the net.
The fortunes can change quickly in F1, so championship leader Charles Leclerc will know that there is no time like now to push his advantage at the top of the table home, and after his performance last weekend, it looks like only Red Bull can come close to stopping him at all.
Verstappen and Red Bull to prove that reliability issues are a thing of the past
It was a case of oh so close but oh so far for Max Verstappen in Bahrain. Twice he had overtaken race leader Leclerc, though only for a few seconds before a late fuel problem prevented him from really challenging the top step on the podium.
It went from bad to worse too Christian Horners hold when Sergio Perez shortly after jumped out and lost power after Verstappen had retreated to the pit, but they seem to have solved the problem.
Red Bull said a vacuum problem in the fuel system was the cause of the problem, and hard work this week, including exceeding the curfew on Wednesday, means they have solved it in time for Saudi Arabia.
Verstappen will hope that is the case, as he seems to be setting in motion his bid to retain the World Cup.
More damage limitation for Mercedes
Mercedes may have arrived on the podium last week, but it required a huge chunk of luck.
Afterwards, Toto Wolff said the team took a “chainsaw” to the rear wing of the car, and although it has been noticeably lowered, it is unlikely that it will provide the kind of change the team needs to compete.
For Russell, he will have a point to prove when ‘Mr Saturday’ was qualified by the man he replaced, Valtteri Bottas.
Haas aims to prove that the first race was not a stroke of luck
Fifth place for Haas seemed unthinkable two weeks ago, but the team overcame all their problems off the field to achieve just that.
To expect them to consistently finish so high is unrealistic, especially given that Red Bull does not have to go to DNF every race, but Guenther Steiner wants to prove that his team is a consistent points scorer.