Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen ‘not happy’ finishing second as Sergio Perez wins in Jeddah
Max Verstappen frustrated by second-placed finish in Jeddah, despite starting race from 15th place; Christian Horner says winner Sergio Perez enjoyed his best race in F1; watch the Australian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 between March 31 and April 2
Last Updated: 19/03/23 9:01pm
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished second in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after starting down in 15th
A frustrated Max Verstappen said he was “not happy” finishing second as he and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez were given permission to race each other at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Perez won from pole position in Jeddah with Verstappen a spot further back having surged through the field after starting in 15th spot due to a driveshaft failure in qualifying.
Reigning world champion Verstappen, whose push for victory was helped by the deployment of a safety car, said: “I recovered to second which is good and in general the whole feeling in the team is happy.
“But personally I am not happy. I am not here to be second, especially when you are working very hard back at the factory to come here in a good state and making sure everything is spot on.
“When you are fighting for a championship and it looks like it is just between two cars [Verstappen and Perez] you have to make the two cars are reliable. We have to do better, absolutely – a cleaner weekend would be nice.
“We are allowed to race so the best man will finish in front.”
Watch the moment Perez claimed victory in Jeddah, ahead of Red Bull team-mate Verstappen
Rosberg: Verstappen’s mentality ‘not good to see’
Nico Rosberg, world champion with Mercedes in 2016, told Sky Sports F1 that Verstappen could have been “more “gracious”.
Rosberg said: “It is not good to see. We were also told he skipped the team meeting [on Saturday] apparently.
“I don’t think it’s a good approach or mentality so early in the season when the team has done such a brilliant job and worked so hard. I think he could be more gracious.”
Perez declared himself “ready to fight” for the world championship after his win in Saudi Arabia, saying “that’s the only reason I come here.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner hailed the Mexican’s success as his best in the sport.
Sergio Perez is optimistic he can mount a title challenge after winning in Jeddah
Horner said: “I think that was Checo’s greatest Grand Prix, his best-ever race, managing the pace, the restart. We’ve got a great car and two great drivers.
“We talked in the briefing [before the race] saying, ‘you’re free to race, but you keep it clean’. They’re both competitive. We saw two drivers pushing each other.”
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Watch the Australian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 between March 31 and April 2. Get Sky Sports