By Robert Haile
After taking pole Sergio Perez held off teammate Max Verstappen as Red Bull showed that they are not just ahead of the competition but leaps ahead.
Perez fended off an early challenge from Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso before settling into the race.
Five time Grand Prix winner Pérez said: “It turned out to be tougher than expected. The safety car tried to take the victory out of us again in Jeddah. The team did a fantastic job.
“They worked so hard and I am really happy for them. We will keep pushing hard and we were the fastest car out there today.”
In qualifying Verstappen struggled with a driveshaft issue and after craving his way through the field to second it came back to haunt the team.
Completing the podium was Alonso who had a 5 second penalty for his positioning in the starting box, after the race he was penalised again for not serving the 5 second properly.
The 10 second penalty demoted him to fourth giving George Russell his first podium of the season for Mercedes.
Aston Martin appealed the decision and they have had the penalty removed giving Alonso his 100th F1 podium.
Russell finished in fourth with teammate Lewis Hamilton in fifth.
Carlos Sainz led home his teammate Charles Leclerc for Ferrari as they finished sixth and seventh in front of Alpine as Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly got their first double points.
Rounding out the points Haas got their first one with Kevin Magnussen finishing in front of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg.
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu held onto thirteenth with AlphaTauri’s rookie Nyck de Vries just behind as Oscar Piastri’s McLaren and Lando Norris’ were split by Williams’ Logan Sargeant.
Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo was the last finisher as Alex Albon’s Williams and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll both had to retire.
In the race for the Drivers Championship Verstappen is in front of Perez by a point with Alonso 13 points behind the Mexican driver.
The Constructors Championship is even more ominous with Red Bull holding a 49 point lead over Aston Martin and Mercedes who are on the same points.
Formula One head down under for the Australian Grand Prix on March 31 to April 2
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 44
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 43
- Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) – 30
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 20
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 20
- George Russell (Mercedes) – 18
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 8
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 6
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 4
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 4
- Pierre Gasly (Alpine) – 4
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 1
- Alex Albon (Williams) – 1
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 0
- Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) – 0
- Logan Sargent (Williams) – 0
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 0
- Nyck De Vries (AlphaTauri) – 0
- Oscar Piastri (McLaren) – 0
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 0
- Red Bull – 87
- Aston Martin – 38
- Mercedes – 38
- Ferrari – 26
- Alpine – 8
- Alfa Romeo – 4
- Haas – 1
- Williams – 1
- AlphaTauri – 0
- McLaren – 0