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Formula One is back this weekend after a short pause. Moving from the medium speed Sakhir track, the series visits the ultra-fast Jeddah Street Cirucit. Check out the best Formula One predictions and bets for the race.
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Saudi Arabia will provide us another look into where the 2023 F1 field truly stands. Sakhir and Jeddah are two very different tracks: while the Bahrain circuit is full of twisted sections, the Saudi Arabian street circuit is one of the fastest tracks in the calendar.
Red Bull completely dominated in Bahrain, as Verstappen and Perez finished more than 15 seconds ahead of their closest pursuer. In F1 2022, high-speed tracks like Jeddah heavily favoured Red Bull, which means we are most likely in for another dominant performance by the Austrian powerhouse.
Following that same train of thought, it’s easy to imagine Verstappen winning with a two-digit margin. In fact, that’s exactly what the two-time champion did last time out in Bahrain, crossing the line a whisker under 12 seconds ahead of Perez.
In qualifying trim, Verstappen is already around two-tenths faster than the rest of the field. But it’s the Dutchman’s long-run pace that really sets himself apart. In Bahrain, Verstappen was often lapping at half-a-second faster than the competition, cruising to a comfortable win in the final stint with no need to push.
The two Friday free practice sessions in Saudi Arabia have given us that same indication: the reigning champion’s pace advantage over long runs is absolutely staggering. Expect Verstappen to pull away and control the race, winning by some 12 to 15 seconds.
Alonso continues to turn back the clock. At 41, the two-time champion is clearly in his best form since the Ferrari days. One race and two free practice sessions into the season, the Spaniard still looks like the second-best driver in the field, behind Verstappen. So far, Alonso has managed to stay close to Sergio Perez, finishing ahead of the second Red Bull in FP2.
More importantly, Alonso is also comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack by around two-tenths in his single lap pace. Aston Martin showed in Bahrain that qualifying runs aren’t the AMR23’s strongest suit, but the car really comes alive in race conditions. Alonso is already flashing some of his F1 car’s potential early on in the weekend, and looks set for another strong showing. A second consecutive top 3 finish – which would also be his 100th career podium – is very much on the cards.
Since we are set for another night race, the temperature will be close to ideal, at 25°C for the qualifying and the race. There will be virtually no wind as well, and no chance of rain.
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