Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen fastest in Saudi Arabian GP practice

Max Verstappen fastest in Saudi Arabian GP practice

Verstappen was fastest in both FP1, held in daylight, and FP2, which was held in darkness and was closer to conditions for both qualifying and the race.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix FP1 results: Verstappen fastest from Perez

What happened in Saudi Arabian GP Free Practice 1?

Sergio Perez set the pace early on for Red Bull, recording a 1m31.486s. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso then took over at the top with 1m31.262s, before Perez responded with 1m30.592s, and Alonso went even faster with 1m30.509s, pipping him by 0.083s.

Verstappen could only manage third after his first run, over a second off the pace, but then vaulted to P1 on his second run on the same tyres with 1m30.494s, just 0.015s quicker. At the halfway point of the session, Verstappen went even faster on a third push lap on this rubber at 1m30.062s.

Alonso got to within half a second of that with 16 minutes to go, as Verstappen worked down to 1m29.617s, and Perez regained his second spot, 0.483s off his team leader.

Lance Stroll leapt to fourth in the closing minutes, lapping his Aston in 1m30.577s, over nine tenths off the quickest time. MercedesGeorge Russell was fifth fastest, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton just fractionally slower but a tenth clear of Carlos Sainz in the fastest Ferrari. That trio were all over a second off Verstappen’s pace.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix FP2 results: Verstappen fastest from Alonso

What happened in Saudi Arabian GP Free Practice 2?

Under the floodlights, Verstappen, Alonso and Perez swapped the top spot between them early on, as the majority of teams evaluated the medium tyres. Verstappen got down to 1m29.952s, while escaping a light brush of the wall at the exit of the final corner.

As the teams all shifted to softs for qualifying simulations, Perez went quickest initially on 1m29.902s – as Alonso’s opening gambit was ruined by cutting the chicane at Turn 22/23.

Verstappen lowered the P1 time to 1m29.603s for the fastest time of the day, three tenths quicker than Perez.

Alonso then improved to take second, two tenths off Verstappen’s fastest time, and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine jumped to fourth – just under half a second off the pace – ahead of Russell, Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Stroll.

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