Max Verstappen's dramatic win in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen's dramatic win in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen of Red Bull passed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc with four laps to win the Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen spent several laps dueling for a lead and swapped positions as they sought to use the DRS in overtaking zones to their advantage for the second race in succession.

Though Charles Leclerc did his best to come back at Max Verstappen on the final lap, the Dutch driver held on to win an enthralling race by just about 0.5 seconds on Sunday night. "It was tough but a good race," Max Verstappen said. "We were fighting hard at the front, and we just tried to play the long with the game.

"It wasn't easy playing smart tricks in the last corner, but eventually I managed to get ahead."

Despite having lost out to Max Verstappen, Leclerc still leads the Drivers' Championship following his win in Bahrain last week, and was magnanimous in defeat, reports Xinhua.

"I enjoyed that race," said Leclerc, who took home the fastest lap bonus point. "It's hard racing but fair. Every race should be like this. It was fun. I'm disappointed; we wanted to win today."

"The new regulations (aimed at making it easier to follow closely behind other cars) are working. The second to last straight, I was just part-throttle trying for Max to overtake me and for me to have the DRS. It worked once. Then the second time he understood, he braked very early, and it was a bit of a mess.

"It was fun, I liked racing like this and it was much easier to follow than I initially thought."

Max Verstappen dramatic win in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 1Twitter image: @F1

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Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz took third place, ahead of Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez, who had led the field away from his position, but dropped back after an unfortunately-timed Safety Car period saw him lose time to his rivals.

George Russell took fifth place in his Mercedes, followed by Alpine's Esteban Ocon, who just held off the charging McLaren of Lando Norris on the run to the finish line.

Pierre Gasly finished eighth for AlphaTauri ahead of Haas's Kevin Magnussen, with Lewis Hamilton salvaging 10th place for Mercedes after having qualified 15th.

China's Zhou Guanyu just failed to finish in the points, coming home 11th after dropping to the back of the field following a poor start.

Leclerc leads the Drivers' Championship with 45 points, ahead of Sainz on 33 and Verstappen with 25.

In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari leads the way with 78 points, with Mercedes second on 38, just ahead of Red Bull with 37.

The third round of the 2022 F1 season is the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne's Albert Park on April 10.

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