Jeddah Speed Trap: Who is the fastest of them all?

© XPB 

Ahead of this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the consensus among the teams was how Jeddah's fast flowing layout would better reflect the field's hierarchy compared to Bahrain.

Changes to the circuit involved improving driver sight lines by pushing back fence walls, especially at Turns 14 and 20 and at Turns 8 and 10.

Modifications to the fast Turn 22/23 complex resulted in slightly slower speeds through the sequence, yet this year's pole was only 0.065s slower than last year.

All teams brought circuit-specific updates to the Saudi venue, with a focus on reducing drag to better serve the track's high-speed demands.

Modified rear wings, beam wings and various aero elements were mounted to help find the ideal compromise between top speed and balance to cope with Jeddah's lengthy full-throttle sections and the track's fast sinuous stretches.

And Red Bull was obviously on top of that crucial compromise, with Sergio Perez securing pole while also clocking in with the fastest top speed as measured by the speed trap located at the end of Jeddah's long back stretch just before the braking zone for the final Turn 27 hairpin.

Max Verstappen's own rocketship  was naturally right up there with Perez in terms of maximum velocity before a driveshaft put paid to his efforts in Q2, and one can expect the Dutchman - who will also have two extra sets of softs thanks to his early exit from qualifying - to join the fight at the front of the field at some point in Sunday's race.

Red Bull's main challengers – Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes – were all slower through the speed trap than the bulls' RB19 while not gaining much an edge in the sinuous sectors. which tells us that barring an unforeseen event, Sunday's race will be Perez's to lose.

But then again, in the words of the intrepid Max Verstappen, "anything can happen" in Jeddah, including an intra-team showdown between Perez and his teammate.

Is it payback time for Checo against Max? Stay tuned…

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter