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De Vries misses final practice in Jeddah as AlphaTauri carry out power unit change

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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 17: Nyck de Vries of Netherlands and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to

Nyck de Vries’s preparations for his maiden Saudi Arabian Grand Prix have taken a hit after AlphaTauri confirmed he is to miss the final practice session due to a change of power unit.

Stepping up to F1 full-time for 2023 following his points-scoring cameo at Monza last season, De Vries is the only driver on the grid who had not driven on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit prior to this weekend – fellow rookies Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant having done so in F2.

READ MORE: AlphaTauri boss Tost jokes ‘I don’t trust engineers’ after point-less start to season

After finishing the first day of practice 17th on the timesheets, four spots down on team mate Yuki Tsunoda, the Dutchman’s efforts to get to grips with the track have been hampered due to technical issues.

Following the start of Saturday’s third and final practice hour, AlphaTauri took to social media to confirm that a problem had been spotted on De Vries’s car, leading to a change of his Honda Red Bull Powertrains unit on his AT04 for the remainder of the event.

It means former F2 and Formula E champion De Vries will head into qualifying with just two hours of practice time underneath him – albeit with the caveat that Friday night’s FP2 session was the most representative in terms of track conditions.

DATA POINTS: What we learned from Friday practice in Saudi Arabia

AlphaTauri arrived at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix holding eighth in the constructors’ standings as one of three teams – along with Haas and McLaren – without a point to their name.

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