FP2: Dominant Verstappen leads Alonso at second practice session in Jeddah as track ramps up
Max Verstappen continued to set the pace in Jeddah, as the Red Bull driver topped the timesheets in the second practice session for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, placing ahead of the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and his team mate Sergio Perez.
After the blazing hot opening practice hour on Friday afternoon, the drivers came out onto a much cooler track for FP2, with the sun having set and the floodlights turned on – in what were much more representative conditions to those they will face in qualifying and in the race.
And it was Verstappen – who also topped the timesheets in FP1 – who led the way in the customary FP2 qualifying simulation runs, setting a time of 1m 29.603s, with his nearest challenger, Alonso, 0.208s behind, with last year’s pole-sitter, Perez, who was third quickest, 0.299s behind his team mate.
FORMULA 1 STC SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX 2023
Saudi Arabia 2023
Practice 2 results
|1 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||1:29.603|
|2 Fernando Alonso ALO Aston Martin||+0.208s|
|3 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.299s|
|4 Esteban Ocon OCO Alpine||+0.436s|
|5 George Russell RUS Mercedes||+0.467s|
It was a strong showing from Alpine on Friday, with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finishing fourth and sixth respectively in the session, with the Mercedes of George Russell sandwiched between the French pair in P5.
Lance Stroll, in the sister Aston Martin, was seventh fastest, ahead of the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg and the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, in P9 and P10, respectively – with Leclerc, set to take a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday's race, heard complaining of engine issues late in the session.
Lewis Hamilton – who won the first race in Jeddah back in 2021 – was 11th fastest after having his first run on the soft tyre impeded by yellow flags, ahead of his compatriot Lando Norris, in 12th, for McLaren.
Yuki Tsunoda was the quickest of the AlphaTauri drivers, in 13th, ahead of the lead Williams of Alex Albon, the sister Haas of Kevin Magnussen, and the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu down in P16.
Tsunoda’s team mate Nyck de Vries finished the session down in 17th, ahead of his fellow rookies Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri – who had to take avoiding action after nearly hitting the rear of Sainz – with Valtteri Bottas at the rear of the field for Alfa Romeo.
Join us again for the third practice session on Saturday at 1630 local time as the drivers get ready for qualifying and Sunday's Grand Prix.