Perez converts pole into a win, Verstappen takes a podium from 15th on the grid and Bottas records the worst finishing position of his career. Here’s a statistic from every driver’s 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.
🇳🇱 Max VERSTAPPEN
After setting the fastest lap time in all three practice sessions, Max Verstappen failed to reach Q4 at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. It ended a 30-race streak of consecutive Q3 appearances for the Dutch driver, which began at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.
Verstappen recovered to finish the race in second place, marking the first time he has finished as runner-up – or on the podium without winning – since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix. Verstappen became the 14th driver to record a podium finish at a round of the World Championship from 15th on the grid. The last driver to do so was Carlos Sainz, at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
This was the first time Verstappen finished a race having started 15th on the grid. His other starts from 15th, both at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2015 and 2018, both resulted in retirements.
🇲🇽 Sergio PEREZ
Sergio Perez won the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from pole position. He became the 72nd driver to take multiple poles in F1 and the 55th to take five victories. Finishing on the podium for the 28th time in his career, Perez equalled Clay Regazzoni for 36th in the all-time list of most podium finishes.
Having taken his only other pole at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Perez became only the ninth driver to record successive career pole positions at a single circuit. The other drivers to have done so are Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell, Jean Alesi, Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
Perez has taken all five of his first Grand Prix victories from different grid slots. This was the first time he converted a pole position into a win. He is only the second driver, after John Watson, to record their first five wins from five different grid positions.
Having led 47 laps of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Perez is now the driver who has led the most laps at Jeddah Corniche Circuit. He is also the first driver to have led the most laps in a single race in Jeddah and go on to win that race.
🇲🇨 Charles LECLERC
The top two qualified in the same order at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as they did in 2022, with Sergio Perez taking pole position and Charles Leclerc setting the second fastest time. However, Leclerc was demoted ten positions on the grid due to a power unit penalty. Leclerc is one of only three drivers who’ve out-qualified their team-mate on every appearance in Jeddah.
With a seventh place finish, Leclerc picked up his first points of the year. This marked the first time Leclerc finished outside of the top six in a race in which he reached the chequered flag since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
🇪🇸 Carlos SAINZ
Carlos Sainz qualified in fifth place for the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen’s Q2 exit means that Sainz took over the longest active streak of consecutive Q3 appearances. He has reached Q3 at all 25 races since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Of the drivers who’ve appeared in all three race weekends at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Sainz is the only driver to be out-qualified by his team-mate all three times.
🇬🇧 Lewis HAMILTON
Lewis Hamilton made his 183rd appearance in car number 44, setting a new record as the driver to have made the most starts with a single car number. Hamilton finished in fifth place for a second consecutive race.
🇬🇧 George RUSSELL
George Russell qualified and finished in fourth place, marking his best qualifying and race result to date at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Russell is one of only three drivers to out-qualify their team-mate on all three appearances at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
🇫🇷 Esteban OCON
Out-qualifying his team-mate for a third time from three Saudi Arabian Grand Prix appearances, Esteban Ocon maintained his 100% Q3 appearance rate in Jeddah. Ocon finished the race in eighth place, recording his worst finishing result at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to date. He had never previously finished outside of the top six.
🇫🇷 Pierre GASLY
Pierre Gasly made his 110th Grand Prix start at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, seeing him move into the top ten of French drivers who’ve made the most F1 starts, overtaking Philippe Alliot.
Gasly maintained his 100% Q3 appearance rate at Jeddah Corniche Circuit but was out-qualified by a team-mate for the first time at the track. Gasly reached the final part of qualifying for the first time since the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.
Finishing ninth for a second consecutive race, Gasly recorded his worst Saudi Arabian Grand Prix result to date.
🇬🇧 Lando NORRIS
For only the second time in his Formula 1 career, Lando Norris was eliminated in Q1 at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. This was his first Q1 exit since the 2019 German Grand Prix. Norris qualified in 19th place – the worst qualifying position of his career. It was the first time he was out-qualified by his team-mate since the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix. This is only the fifth time in his career that Norris has failed to reach Q3 at two consecutive races.
Norris finished 17th for the second race in a row. This is the first time in his career that Norris has failed to score at both of the first two races of the season, as well as the first time he failed to score at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
🇦🇺 Oscar PIASTRI
After recording his first Q3 appearance on Saturday at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Oscar Piastri finished the race in 15th place, reaching the end of a Grand Prix for the first time in his career.
🇫🇮 Valtteri BOTTAS
Valtteri Bottas’ presence on the grid made the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix the 700th World Championship race to feature a Finnish driver. Finland became the seventh nation to reach the milestone.
Along with Lewis Hamilton, Bottas set a new record for the most starts with a single car number. However, it wasn’t a brilliant evening for Bottas. He finished in 18th – the lowest finishing position he has ever recorded in a Grand Prix which he has completed.
🇨🇳 ZHOU Guanyu
Despite qualifying one position better than where he did in 2022, Zhou Guanyu finished the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 13th place – two positions down on where he finished last year.
🇪🇸 Fernando ALONSO
Fernando Alonso qualified in third place and moved up to second on the grid as a result of Charles Leclerc’s grid penalty. The 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix marks the 39th front row start of his car and his first since the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix. It was also the first front row start for an Aston Martin driver since Roy Salvadori at the 1959 British Grand Prix, which was held at the Aintree circuit.
Despite a farcical situation after the race where he was stripped of his podium only to then have it reinstated, Alonso became the sixth driver to record 100 podium finishes in Formula 1. He is the first driver to achieve the feat since Kimi Raikkonen at the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.
Alonso’s podium finish saw him join Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher as only the third driver to have a points-scoring period of over 20 years in Formula 1. The Spaniard’s latest points came 20 years and 10 days since he first scored at the 2003 Australian Grand Prix.
Alonso’s podiums in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia mark the first time he has finished in the top five at consecutive races since the 2014 German and Hungarian Grands Prix. It’s also the first time he’s finished in the top four at two races in a row since the start of the 2014 season, plus the first time he has secured podium results at successive races since the 2013 Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.
Alonso led three laps of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which is the most laps he has led in a single race since leading 27 laps at the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso’s third place marked the first time he picked up points at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as well as the Aston Martin team’s first points in Jeddah.
🇨🇦 Lance STROLL
Lance Stroll qualified in sixth place at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, marking the first time he has reached Q3 at Jeddah Corniche Circuit. It was also the first time Stroll qualified in the top six since taking pole position at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix.
Stroll was the first driver to retire from the race after being told to pull over by his team. It marked the first time that Stroll failed to reach the chequered flag in Jeddah. Despite never previously retiring, the Canadian has never scored a point at the circuit.
Stroll’s retirement marked the second time in the three races held at Jeddah Corniche Circuit that the driver who has started fifth retired from the race.
🇩🇰 Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Kevin Magnussen finished the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in tenth place, recording his and the Haas team’s first points finish of the 2023 season. Magnussen last scored in a Grand Prix at the 2022 United States Grand Prix – though he did pick up a point in last year’s Sprint at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Magnussen maintains his 100% points-scoring record at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix having finished ninth last year.
🇩🇪 Nico HULKENBERG
Nico Hulkenberg finished 12th in the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: the same position in which he finished the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Hulkenberg’s 12th place finish marked his 183rd race start without a race win. He equalled Nick Heidfeld for second in the list of most Grand Prix starts without a victory.
🇯🇵 Yuki TSUNODA
Yuki Tsunoda was unlucky to narrowly miss out on points once again at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. This was the third successive race in which the Japanese driver finished 11th. After finishing 1.096 seconds away from a point in Bahrain, he finished 2.668 seconds away from a points finish in Saudi Arabia.
🇳🇱 Nyck DE VRIES
While Yuki Tsunoda finished 11th in the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Nyck de Vries finished in 14th place. That made 2023 the first time that AlphaTauri failed to pick up any points at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
🇹🇭 Alex ALBON
After recording a Q1 exit on Saturday. Alex Albon was the second and final retirement from the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Suffering a brake failure, Albon retained his 100% non-finish rate at the track, having also retired from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2022. Albon’s retirement means that Williams have recorded at least one retirement on all three visits to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. They are the only team to have done so.
🇺🇸 Logan SARGEANT
Logan Sargeant failed to set a lap time in Q1 at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, seeing him start from the back of the grid. With both Sargeant and Alex Albon out in Q1, Williams became the team to have recorded the most Q1 exits at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The team has now amassed five Q1 eliminations at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.