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FP1: Verstappen leads Alonso and Perez during first practice in Saudi Arabia

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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 07: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull

Max Verstappen set the pace during Thursday afternoon’s opening free practice hour for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, slotting ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen trailed Mercedes rival George Russell by 0.003s after the first soft-tyre runs midway through the session but the reigning world champion improved to a 1m 29.659s with his second effort to provisionally pull clear.

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Verstappen remained quickest as the final laps rolled in, just under two-tenths clear of Alonso, with Perez a couple of hundredths further back and Russell rounding out the top four for the Silver Arrows.

Saudi Arabia 2024

Practice 1 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1VER1:29.659
2ALO+0.186s
3PER+0.209s
4RUS+0.28s
5LEC+0.371s
View Full Results

Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz followed in fifth and sixth respectively, with the latter making it to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit just in time after missing Wednesday’s media duties due to illness.

Lando Norris was the fastest of the McLaren drivers in seventh position, followed by the other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll – who survived a brush with the wall early on – and the Williams of Alex Albon.

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Kick Sauber’s charge was led by Valtteri Bottas in 11th position, with team mate Zhou Guanyu back in P18 after saving a wild slide at the start of his soft-tyre run and losing a chunk of time as he backed out.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 07: Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari walks in the Paddock prior to

Sainz skipped his media duties on Wednesday due to feeling unwell but made it to the track for FP1

Daniel Ricciardo took 12th for RB, setting his best time on mediums, with Esteban Ocon 13th as Alpine look to make progress after their painful season-opener in Bahrain and the latest set of staff changes that saw both their Technical Director and Head of Aerodynamics move on.

Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri were a chunk away from their Williams and McLaren team mates in P14 and P15 respectively, with Yuki Tsunoda 16th in the other RB as he also used the yellow-marked medium tyres for his best lap.

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P17 went to Pierre Gasly in the second of the Alpine machines, from the aforementioned Zhou and Haas pair Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen who, like the RB drivers, logged their fastest times on mediums.

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