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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Tips, Predictions & Odds

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place on Saturday and it looks very much like it will be the scrap for the podium finishes rather than the race win that will tkae most of the attention.

The first race of the mammoth 24-race schedule in Bahrain produced a familiar result as three-time world champion Max Verstappen led home Sergio Perez in a one-two finish for Red Bull, but there was hope for fans who would love to see a more competitive campaign this time.

Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin appear to be in a fierce fight to be best of the rest in the early stages of the season and while Red Bull remain on top, their margin for error seems to be reduced.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Tips

Sergio Perez to finish 2nd @ 21/10
George Russell podium finish @ 5/2
Lance Stroll top-six finish @ 11/2

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Formula 1

Setting the scene…

Max Verstappen is the clear favourite to extend his phenomenal winning streak and is an even shorter price than last week at 1/5 to secure a ninth successive grand prix victory.

Verstappen has won an incredible 18 of the last 19 races, although the only failure during that run came at a street circuit in Singapore last season, giving a gleam of hope to his challengers on the streets of Jeddah.

The Dutch driver pulled clear as his chief challengers suffered issues in the opener, notably Charles Leclerc of Ferrari who had brake problems in the early laps after qualifying alongside Verstappen on the front row and could finish only fourth.

Carlos Sainz - the last driver other than Verstappen to win a race - joined the Red Bull duo on the podium, while George Russell got the better of Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes to finish fifth.

Thursday's practice sessions suggested that the field may be even closer to the Red Bulls this week as Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso, a podium finisher at this track last season, went fastest in practice two after Verstappen led the opening session.

What: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Where: Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
When: 17:00 Saturday, 9th March
How to watch: Sky Sports F1
Odds: Max Verstappen 1/5, Sergio Perez 8/1, Charles Leclerc 12/1, Fernando Alonso 20/1

Sergio Perez to finish second @ 21/10

Red Bull's second driver Sergio Perez came into the season under pressure after an underwhelming performance in 2023 when he made hard work of claiming the runner-up spot in the championship despite driving what was comfortably one of the best two cars on the grid.

However, the Mexican made a positive start to the season by finishing second at a respectful distance of 22 seconds behind Verstappen after working his way up from a disappointing fifth on the grid.

With qualifying expected to be a close fight again, Perez can take confidence that his race pace should serve him well on Saturday and he can have high hopes of another podium finish.

Perez has fond memories of this track after it provided one of his two race victories in the 2023 season, winning from pole after Verstappen suffered a driveshaft failure in qualifying that left him 15th on the grid. 

The world champion was still able to finish second to Perez and should be ahead of him given a clean run this time, but backing Perez at 21/10 to finish second looks better value than taking him each-way for the race at 8/1 or for a top-two finish, which is 6/4.

Both of Perez's 2023 wins came at street circuits, where he is generally able to be more competitive relative to Verstappen than at the more traditional tracks.

George Russell podium finish @ 5/2

George Russell was the lead Mercedes in qualifying and the race in Bahrain, claiming third on the grid and finishing fifth behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris. The British driver looks to have a decent chance of a podium finish in Jeddah.

Russell was second on the timesheets in the second practice session and seems to have the edge on his seven-time world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton at this early stage of the season.

He was the fourth-fastest qualifier in Jeddah last year and started third on the grid due to a penalty for Leclerc, finishing in fourth place with Hamilton behind him.

Russell is only joint-fifth in the betting for a top-three finish at 5/2, but has a chance to challenge the Ferraris.

Sainz has been ruled out of the race due to appendicitis and been replaced by Oliver Bearman, so Russell could secure his first podium finish of 2024 after managing only two last season.

Read the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix schedule, start time, weather, lap record and more on site.

Lance Stroll top-six finish @ 11/2

Fernando Alonso turned heads in practice when setting the fastest time in P2 in his Aston Martin and the Spanish veteran is just 2/9 for a top-six finish in Jeddah and 12/5 fourth-favourite to repeat last season's podium finish.

However, if the pace the green cars showed on Thursday was representative of their chances then Alonso's team-mate Lance Stroll looks a value bet for a top-six finish in the race at much bigger odds of 11/2.

The Canadian also made a decent start to the race weekend, finishing in the top six in second practice and, if the car is good enough, he could put in a strong showing.

Stroll's car suffered an engine failure in this race last season, but he had started from fifth on the grid and should put in another strong showing.

View the full market and more odds for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on site

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Tips

Sergio Perez to finish 2nd @ 21/10
George Russell podium finish @ 5/2
Lance Stroll top-six finish @ 11/2

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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