(Formula One on Twitter)
After a dominating showing by Ferrari last week in Bahrain and hungry Red Bull Racing team looking to rebound after a dismal showing. The Formula One World Championship makes the jump west across the Saudi Arabian Peninsula to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the second running of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Track Facts: The Jeddah Street Circuit is the fastest street course in the world with average speeds around the 3.836-mile circuit will be around 160 miles per hour. The circuit is also the second-longest circuit on the Formula One Calander as only Spa-Francorchamps is longer. The track has 27 turns that snake through the streets of Jeddah that pairs with three DRS zones to help facilitate passing. Lewis Hamilton is the only winner in track history as he won the inaugural event in 2021.
2021 Event: The 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was the penultimate race of the 2021 Formula One World Championship season. All eyes were on Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as the championship battle was only within a few points entering the event. No surprise, the battle was among them at the front of the field for most of the day. On lap 37, Hamilton trailed Verstappen and attempted a pass to the inside going into turn one. The two made contact and Verstappen went wide and bypassed turn two. Verstappen was given a five second time penalty and went on to finish second behind Hamilton. The results of the race tied the two drivers in championship standings going into the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi.
What to Watch For: After last weekend's race at Bahrain, there are a few teams who need a rebound. Starting with Red Bull Racing, it has been years since both of their cars have failed to score points in a race weekend. It certainly makes it worse when you're in a 25-point hole to Ferrari. Not a make-or-break weekend for them as if everything goes right, they can score points, but with reliability issues with the Red Bull powerplant, going to Jeddah will raise some eyebrows going into the weekend. Another top team looking for a rebound is McLaren. After two of the most popular drivers in the series failed to make points last weekend. Both drivers in 2021 finished inside of the top ten last year at Saudi Arabia.
Predictions: All eyes will be mostly on Team Red Bull to see if they can rebound from a horrific opening weekend in Bahrain. For Ferrari, who came out after the Bahrain GP and said they actually tuned down the power plant for last weekend's race. With more insiders believing the will tune the engine up this weekend. It could put the whole paddock on notice for how far the Ferrari has come over the offseason. Leclerc won last week and I think Sainz will pick up the win in Jeddah with Lewis Hamilton close behind him.
Championship Standings (Top 3):
Charles Leclerc - Ferrari - 26
Carlos Sainz Jr - Ferrari - 18
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 15
Constructor Standings (Top 3):
Ferrari - 44
Mercedes - 27
Haas - 10
TV Schedule: All times are EST
Friday, March 25th
- Practice 1 at 9:55 A.M. on ESPN2
- Practice 2 at 12:55 P.M. on ESPN2
Saturday, March 26th
- Practice 3 at 9:55 A.M. on ESPN2
- Pole Qualifying at 12:55 P.M. on ESPN2
Sunday, March 27th
- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at 12:55 P.M. on ESPN
For more Formula One news, results, and opinion. Follow us right here on Racing Refresh.
Follow me on Twitter @TheCollinBest