Max Verstappen admits he’s ‘not happy’ after 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez picked up the fifth win of his career in Saudi Arabia, forcing Max Verstappen to settle for second place.

The 2023 championships already look Red Bull’s to lose, with the power of the RB19 not being something that any other team on the grid can match.

Sergio Perez took pole position and cruised to victory after a brief battle with Fernando Alonso, despite a safety car triggered by Lance Stroll’s retirement threatening to hinder Perez’s race in Saudi Arabia once again.

A driveshaft issue in qualifying forced Max Verstappen to start the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in P15 and this allowed the Dutchman to show off the true capability of the RB19.

The 25-year-old had made it all the way up into the podium places by the halfway point in the race and went on to finish in P2, some way ahead of Fernando Alonso who finished third.

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Verstappen even managed to steal the fastest lap point off of Sergio Perez on the final lap of the race, despite his team telling him not to worry about doing so.

A second one-two finish in two races for Red Bull so far this season rounds off a phenomenal start to the season, but Verstappen is still not happy.

Speaking after the race, the Dutchman admitted that whilst the result was good for the team, his driveshaft issue in qualifying was simply unacceptable.

“I recovered to second which is good and in general the whole feeling in the team is happy,” he said.

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“But personally I am not happy. I am not here to be second, especially when you are working very hard back at the factory to come here in a good state and making sure everything is spot on.

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“When you are fighting for a championship and it looks like it is just between two cars you have to make sure the two cars are reliable. We have to do it better, absolutely – a cleaner weekend would be nice.”

Verstappen will head to the Australian Grand Prix a point ahead of his teammate after snatching the fastest lap, with the title battle seemingly only between the two Red Bull drivers.

Sergio Perez cannot be underestimated this year, which makes Verstappen’s reliability concerns understandable as he targets a third consecutive world championship.