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'It's 88 missed podiums!' – Verstappen reflects on 100th F1 rostrum appearance as he praises ‘fantastic’ Bearman

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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

Max Verstappen made it two wins out of two in 2024 with an assured victory in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – a result that also brought up the tonne for the Red Bull driver in terms of podiums in F1.

Verstappen is now on a winning streak of nine races stretching back to last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, and never looked like coming under significant pressure in Saturday night’s race following his first ever pole position at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

READ MORE: Verstappen seals assured victory in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Bearman scores points on debut

After crossing the line eight seconds to the good over team mate Sergio Perez – who was pleased with an improved performance on his side compared to Bahrain a week ago – Verstappen was asked what it meant to him to take his 100th podium finish in just his 187th Grand Prix.

“It's 88 missed podiums!” he joked, adding: “Of course, very happy with that, but I'm not really a guy looking at the stats, so I'm just happy to hit 100. But I want to of course continue, and just focus race by race on achieving the best possible result all the time.”

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2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Verstappen crosses the line to take victory under the lights in Jeddah

With Red Bull having overcome an early Safety Car in Saudi Arabia – caused by Lance Stroll smashing into the wall at Turn 23 – to secure their second one-two in as many races, the team now head the constructors’ standings by 38 points from Ferrari, with Verstappen adding: “I think overall of course a fantastic weekend for the whole team but also from my side, I felt really good with the car, and also basically was the same in the race.

READ MORE: Bearman ‘destroyed’ after points-scoring Ferrari debut as he reflects on ‘good showing’ in Saudi Arabia

“Of course the last stint was a bit longer than we would have liked, but with the Safety Car, we had to go for it. So the last few laps, also with those backmarkers, with the cold tyres, it was a little bit slippery but we had good pace so we could manage it quite well. Overall, very, very pleased.”

While Verstappen may have headed the action at the front of the field, the Dutch driver – who leads team mate Perez in the drivers’ standings by 15 points – was overshadowed by the performance of Ferrari’s 18-year-old Carlos Sainz-replacing super-sub Ollie Bearman, who took P7 on his Ferrari debut ahead of fellow Britons Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

Verstappen and Perez took their second straight 1-2

But Verstappen was generous in his praise of the teenager after the race, telling the press the Ferrari driver had been "fantastic". He continued: "I of course quickly spoke to him – I hope he’s very happy with himself. I think he is!

FACTS AND STATS: Bearman makes it four Brits in the points for the first time since 1968

"I think he will sleep well tonight and I think he definitely showed himself in the paddock to everyone, he did an absolutely fantastic job on one of the toughest tracks on the calendar."

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Race Highlights: 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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