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UK start time, driver standings and how to follow – Russell says Mercedes may have to ‘sacrifice’ season as Red Bull chief questions legality of Alonso’s car

Mercedes’ woes are set to continue as the 2023 Formula 1 season ramps up to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend.

The Silver Arrows responded to Lewis Hamilton’s prediction that the W14 was average by becoming the first car to miss the podium in every season opener in the hybrid era.


Mercedes appear to be far from tough for race wins

Hamilton finished fifth in Bahrain, two places above team-mate George Russell, but neither driver could match winner Max Verstappen.

In fact, they would have found themselves even further away if Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari had not suffered an engine failure mid-race.

And that engine failure cost the 25-year-old a ten-place grid penalty as Ferrari had to replace the power unit for that race.

And Russell, responsible for Mercedes’ only Grand Prix last year, admitted they may have to cancel 2023 and plan next season now.

He said: “We are here to win and obviously we want to optimize every result.

“But if you give me a choice between fighting and having a chance to win races when they do, versus slow progress and never having that chance, you obviously choose to get those wins.

“So if we have to sacrifice some races or part of a season to give us a chance to have a car that can fight whether it’s the second half of the season or even if it turns into the year next, maybe that’s what we’re going to have to do because we’re clearly far behind.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: UK start date and time

The race weekend at Jeddah Corniche Circuit is scheduled for Friday March 17th to Sunday March 19th.

There will be two practices on Friday and the third will take place on Saturday before qualifying at 3 p.m.

The race itself will start at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Perez joked that there were three Red Bulls on the podium in Bahrain


Perez joked that there were three Red Bulls on the podium in Bahrain

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: TV Channel and Live Stream

Coverage will be on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend and their preparation for Sunday’s race will start at 3pm.

Sky Sports customers can stream this live through the app using their mobile devices, tablets or computers.

Alternatively, you can buy a Sky Sports Day Pass from NowTV for £9.99 while Channel Four will show highlights later in the evening.

talkSPORT will have all the best action throughout the week.

To log in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 via the website, click HERE for the live stream.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Starting Grid

  • 1 – Sergio Perez, Red Bull – 1:28.265
  • 2 – Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin – 1:28.730
  • 3 – George Russell, Mercedes – 1:28.857
  • 4 – Carlos Sainz, Ferrari – 1:28.931
  • 5 – Lance Stroll, Aston Martin – 1:28.945
  • 6 – Esteban Ocon, Alpine – 1:29.078
  • 7 – Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 1:29.223
  • 8 – Oscar Piastri, McLaren – 1:29.243
  • 9 – Pierre Gasly, Alpine – 1:29.357
  • 10 – Nico Hulkenberg, Haas – 1:29.451
  • 11 – Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo – 1:29.461
  • 12 – Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 1:28.420 (ten-place grid penalty)
  • 13 – Kevin Magnussen, Haas – 1:29.634
  • 14 – Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo – 1:29.668
  • 15 – Max Verstappen, Red Bull – 1:49.953
  • 16 – Yuki Tsunoda, Alphatauri – 1:29.939
  • 17 – Alexander Albon, Williams – 1:29.994
  • 18 – Nyck De Vries, Alphaturi – 1:30.244
  • 19 – Lando Norris, McLaren – 1:30.447
  • Logan Sargeant, Williams – 2:08.510

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: what do we say?

“Red Bull sewed this championship together,” Russell said.

“I don’t think anyone is going to fight them this year and I expect them to win.

“They should win all the races this season, that’s my bet. With the performance they have, I don’t see anyone challenging. They have it easy at the moment. They can do whatever they want.

“They might not be on pole all the time because we know Ferrari are very competitive in qualifying. But in terms of race pace, I think they are in a very good position.

Leclerc had to retire two-thirds during the race in Bahrain


Leclerc had to retire two-thirds during the race in Bahrain

Meanwhile, Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has questioned the legality of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin following his podium finish.

Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows has been named responsible for the British team’s rise to the front of the grid from Red Bull.

“It’s true that what Fallows had in his head cannot be erased,” Marko told Servus TV.

“Copying the tune is not forbidden, but can you copy in such detail without having our car’s documentation?”

“We had three Red Bulls on the podium, only the last one with a different engine.

Formula 1 2022: Driver Ranking

Driver / Car / Points

  • Max Verstappen / Red Bull Racing / 25
  • Sergio Perez / Red Bull Racing / 18
  • Fernando Alonso / Aston Martin / 15
  • Carlos Sainz/Ferrari/12
  • Lewis Hamilton/Mercedes/10
  • Lance Stroll/Aston Martin/8
  • George Russell/Mercedes/6
  • Valtteri Bottas / Alfa Romeo / 4
  • Pierre Gasly / Alpine / 2
  • Alexander Albon / Williams / 1
  • Yuki Tsounda / Alphatauri / 0
  • Logan Sargeant/Williams/0
  • Kevin Magnussen/Haas/0
  • Nyck De Vries / Alphatauri / 0
  • Nico Hulkenberg / Haas / 0
  • Zhou Guanyu / Alfa Romeo / 0
  • Lando Norris / McLaren / 0
  • Oscar Piastri / McLaren / 0
  • Charles Leclerc / Ferrari / 0
  • Esteban Ocon / Alpine / 0

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