The Saudi Arabian GP was a dramatic one with a terror attack close to the track on the Friday, Saturday saw Mick Schumacher hit the wall at 160mph, and Sunday was eventful for a number of drivers as they suffered from powertrain issues.
Max Verstappen finished P1 followed closely by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, but a crash by Nicholas Latifi saw the safety car come out in the first half of the race that brought a bit of drama between Verstappen’s Bull and Leclerc’s Ferrari.
Verstappen is known to get up alongside the leading car under a safety car in quite an aggressive manner, and while this is completely legal during a race, it turned a few noses.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 27, 2022
Palmer said the following to F1 TV:
“Max has a restart technique were he likes to get side-by-side with the leader and stop them turning in where they want to be.
“Charles just didn’t bite.
“He forced Max slightly wide and stayed in the lead, no DRS of course on the restart, so the pressure wasn’t as bad but Max was really trying to force the issue with that side-by-side.”
“What he’s doing is he’s stopping Charles from opening up the corner.
“Charles wants to be heading in that direction on the outside so he can swing into the left-hander that’s coming up and get the most speed through the corner.
“But because Max is alongside, he’s going to have a much better reaction time because there’s less distance that he can lose, he has a nice view of when Leclerc is going as well and he’s stopping Leclerc from getting to that outside line that he is wanting.
“Max doing his little weaving, Charles is accelerating and braking on the throttle and brakes all to try and get the tyre temps up. But the whole way through this, Max is just sitting there alongside.
“He doesn’t overtake, he’s just sitting there, just being an absolute nuisance for the race leader.”
Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas reserve driver, even questioned the tactics of Verstappen:
“Is that allowed?” he asked. “I was wondering if that is allowed because at the end you are impeding the guy at the front.
“I think it is great because it causes some chaos but I don’t know is allowed.”
“So long as you don’t overtake. Remember in Abu Dhabi where he just about did, it is a fine margin.”
Verstappen even tried to psych out Lewis Hamilton during the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP:
“He even caught up with Lewis briefly and that was still being investigated by the stewards,” Palmer told F1 TV.
“Then he was on the racing line, so Hamilton could not really cut the corner.”