Verstappen crushes the field Bearman stars in Saudi

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Verstappen’s historic drive

It was a historic day in Saudi Arabia for Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

He took his 56th career win to guide Red Bull to its 115th victory, and move it one clear of Williams and into fourth on the all-time list, only behind Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.

It was his ninth straight win, matching the old record for most successive wins once again, meaning he can match his own record of 10 straight if he wins in Melbourne next time out.

In further good news, Sergio Perez finished second to continue Red Bull’s strong start with only Charles Leclerc nabbing the fastest lap to deny a second maximum haul for the team.

Brilliant Bearman’s Hamilton praise

The other major story in Jeddah was the debut of Oliver Bearman for Ferrari, subbing for Carlos Sainz.

Qualifying a strong 11th, he put in a smart drive to grab seventh place – the highest any driver has finished on debut to score points since Felipe Nasr’s fifth in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

It included a nice move on Yuki Tsunoda at Turn 1 as the Briton marked himself out as one for the future – and earned Lewis Hamilton’s seal of approval.

Verstappen coy over Red Bull future

Before the race, Helmut Marko revealed the outcome of talks with Red Bull sports boss Oliver Mintzlaff – and suggested he wouldn’t be suspended as was claimed before qualifying.

That earned a full-throated defence from Verstappen after his pole – and the World Champion was given a chance to put to bed the idea that he could walk away early from Red Bull, and give up potential titles, if Marko does go.

The Dutchman was rather non-commital in his answer and did not answer the question put.

Why Wolff would do ‘gymnastics’ over Verstappen

As the power dynamics in Red Bull continue to play out, Toto Wolff is there lurking in the background, all too happy to help things along.

After Verstappen’s latest demonstration run, the Mercedes boss indicated that some gymnastics were in order for any team on the grid to sign Verstappen.

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