Team by team analysis of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

March 19 (Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, second round of the season in Jeddah (listed in championship order):

RED BULL (Sergio Perez 1, Max Verstappen 2)

Perez started from pole for the second year in a row and took his fifth career win after leading for all but the first three laps. Verstappen started 15th and held on to the championship lead thanks to popping in the fastest lap right at the end. The second one-two finish in two races is the team's best start to a season. Both drivers pitted on lap 18 during the safety car period, switching from medium to hard tyres.

ASTON MARTIN (Fernando Alonso 3, Lance Stroll retired)

Alonso finished third, was demoted to fourth and then reinstated to his 100th career podium. The Spaniard collected a five second penalty for a grid infringement, and was then given a 10 second post-race penalty when the team failed to serve the first one properly. That was reversed after a review. Stroll retired with an engine recovery problem, his stopping on track triggering the safety car on lap 18.

MERCEDES (George Russell 4, Lewis Hamilton 5)

Russell finished fourth, was promoted to third post-race and then demoted again when Aston Martin won their case. Both Mercedes drivers lost out to Verstappen coming through. Russell started third on the medium tyres, Hamilton seventh on hards. Both stopped during the safety car period. The team are now level on points with Aston Martin, behind on placings.

FERRARI (Carlos Sainz 6, Charles Leclerc 7)

Leclerc started 12th after a 10 place grid penalty but gained three places on the soft tyres. He was sixth by lap 13 and fifth after pitting on lap 16 for hards, only for the safety car to then come out and remove any advantage. The race after that was dull for both.

ALPINE (Esteban Ocon 8, Pierre Gasly 9)

Alpine got both cars into the points for the first time this season, with Ocon opening his account. Both did a one-stop medium to hard strategy, pitting before the safety car period. Gasly and Piastri made contact at the start, without any consequences for the Frenchman.

ALFA ROMEO (Guanyu Zhou 13, Valtteri Bottas 18)

Bottas ran over debris on lap one and feared he might have damaged his car's floor. He said he lacked grip from the start and did three pitstops - a strategy of medium, hard, medium, soft tyres. Zhou did two stops, his race compromised after the safety car.

HAAS (Kevin Magnussen 10, Nico Hulkenberg 12)

Magnussen started 13th and scored the team's first point of the season. He pitted on lap eight, switching from mediums to hard, and passed Tsunoda for 10th place. He did 42 laps on one set of hards. Hulkenberg, who started 10th, pitted three laps later on the same strategy.

WILLIAMS (Logan Sargeant 16, Alex Albon retired)

Albon retired in the pits on lap 29 with a brake system problem. Sargeant did a long stint on the medium tyre after starting on the hard.

ALPHATAURI (Yuki Tsunoda 11, Nyck de Vries 14)

Tsunoda was passed by Magnussen four laps from the end. De Vries lost momentum at the start and re-start and was then caught in traffic, struggling to get the tyres to the right temperature. The team successfully double-stacked the drivers at the pitstop during the safety car period.

MCLAREN (Oscar Piastri 15, Lando Norris 17)

Still no points for McLaren, whose drivers were again near the back of the field. Piastri at least finished a grand prix for the first time, despite losing part of his front wing in a first corner clash and pitting for a new one at the end of lap one. He then did the rest of the race on a set of hard tyres. Norris did two stops, one on lap two for a new front wing after damaging it on debris from Piastri's car.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Peter Rutherford

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