The Purple Bull driver and reigning environment winner picked up his first factors of the F1 season just after coming out on prime in a pulsating struggle with his Ferrari rival.
It marked a return to the podium for the Dutchman following a late mechanical failure denied him a major-a few complete at very last week’s time opener in Sakhir.
Leclerc seized the direct early on from Verstappen’s crew-mate Sergio Perez amid a security motor vehicle procession, pursuing a crash by Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, and looked poised for back-to-again wins just after victory in Bahrain.
But amid a thrilling last stretch at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Leclerc was caught on the main straight heading into lap 47 by Verstappen.
Leclerc’s workforce-mate Carlos Sainz came dwelling in third, to leave pole-sitter Sergio Perez fourth, though Lewis Hamilton, who began 15th next a dreadful qualifying session on Saturday, fought via the grid for a details end in 10th.
Following a tumultuous build-up to race day on and off the monitor, an uncharacteristically sedate commence saw the grid generally hold place in the opening times.
Verstappen built one of the handful of jumps, acquiring the edge on Sainz down to Flip 1, but he was in any other case not able to gain early ground on Perez and Leclerc right up until Latifi’s crash facilitated a reshuffle at the leading.
Possessing preserved a 1-second-plus gain about Verstappen right after taking the direct, Leclerc was forced to struggle tooth and nail to retain himself ahead of the Purple Bull person.
But with just four laps to go, he could not hold on to his slender lead and the Dutchman handed to notch up those people very first details of his title defence.
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