Fernando Alonso Believes Max Verstappen Will Overcome What Charles Leclerc Thinks Is A Huge Deterrence

Tanish Chachra
|Published 19/03/2023

The qualifying round of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix gave an exciting twist to the fans when Max Verstappen retired from Q2 with engine issues. Therefore, he’ll be starting the race from P15 and have to climb the whole midfield before contesting for the podium.

On the other hand, Charles Leclerc has to serve a 10-place grid. Hence, even after getting P2 in the qualifying, he’ll start from P12 during the race. This scenario has added spice to the event as both title contenders are starting back from the field.

Thus, both would aim to get above in the field as soon as possible. However, Ferrari star Leclerc isn’t optimistic about his situation. He thinks he’ll be stuck in the DRS train for most of the race, as the midfield cars are tightly knitted in pace.

He isn’t expecting a massive leap in his positions throughout the entirety of the race. However, the opposite is expected from the current world champion. Many believe, including Fernando Alonso, that Verstappen could jump up to a podium position on Sunday.

Fernando Alonso believes a podium will be a minimum result by Max Verstappen

Verstappen wasn’t bothered, with his first setback probably in several months, at all. Instead, he seemed relaxed, perhaps signaling that all would be well for Red Bull on Sunday. Meanwhile, Alonso thinks Verstappen will put in an extraordinary performance during the race.

“They have this advantage – I don’t know which race it was last year that he started last, he changed the power unit and still finished P2, or even he won the race. So I think tomorrow there is no doubt that he will be on the podium, probably, minimum,” said Alonso.

Despite starting from the front row, Alonso is not considering the race win. Sergio Perez, the other Red Bull driver, starts above him. He thinks Red Bull on race pace is in ‘another league’. Therefore, he reveals he will concentrate on other teams instead of defeating the current world champions.

Worrying about others

Aston Martin in Bahrain projected itself as one of the top sides. However, Alonso is trying to be humble about his team’s capabilities. He thinks Ferrari, Mercedes, and even his former team, Alpine, would have a good race pace and could outclass them.

Nonetheless, he is all in to give the maximum effort for his side and keep his rivals behind him. But anyway, he is, in all likeliness, ready to pick a podium in Jeddah.

While Verstappen is tipped to fetch a podium in the race, there is a good chance for others to hit at the fragile lead he took from the first race. With all the storylines at play, an exciting race is probably coming ahead.

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About the author
Tanish Chachra

Tanish Chachra

Tanish Chachra is the Motorsport editor at The SportsRush. He saw his first race when F1 visited India in 2011, and since then, his romance with the sport has been seasonal until he took up this role in 2020. Reigniting F1's coverage on this site, Tanish has fallen in love with the sport all over again. He loves Kimi Raikkonen and sees a future world champion in Oscar Piastri. Away from us, he loves to snuggle inside his books.

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