with a summaryMax Verstappen also set the fastest time in the second representative practice session in Saudi Arabia. Only Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez have come fairly close to the Dutch world champion, who will be the man to beat tomorrow in the battle for first place.
Perhaps the most important of the three free practice sessions was on the streets of Jeddah. How did the 20 cars perform in similar conditions for tomorrow’s qualifying and the race in 24 hours? The teams had to collect a lot of information in a short time and were busy for an hour in the already chaotic circuit.
In the preliminary shoot on the medium tyres, Max Verstappen was half a second faster on the spot than the rest. After about twenty minutes of practice, the drivers then switched to the soft rubber. The two-time world champion was one-tenth faster than the two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso. Less than a tenth of the Spaniard followed Sergio Pérez. By the way, the VT2 did not go very smoothly for Verstappen, because in the final stage he complained about a problem when changing gear.
Behind Pérez, Esteban Ocon is fifth. Alpine hopes to compete with Mercedes in Saudi Arabia for a ‘fourth team’ spot, and so far that seems to be working well. Ocon was several hundreds faster than George Russell, followed by his teammate Pierre Gasly. On Lewis Hamilton’s on-board radio, he’s heard several times that he doesn’t have balance at the rear of his car. So Hamilton ended up with “only” a P11. It was behind the chattering Ferrari.
For Nyck de Vries, he promises to be another tough qualifier tomorrow (from 6pm NST). Having had to start penultimate in Bahrain, he won’t go beyond P17 for the time being. Teammate Yuki Tsunoda was faster in both practice sessions than the rookie from Friesland, who is driving for the first time at the Jeddah Corniche circuit.
Verstappen says he’s had a few “difficult days”. The two-time world champion had to postpone his trip to Saudi Arabia due to a stomach flu. ,, I feel so much better now after a hard few days when I was sick. Not cute, but I feel good now.”
“It was all about setting the course. We can look back on a positive day, although there are still some things we can do better. In the long run it looks like everyone is close together. Verstappen recalled of the opening race before Two weeks later, in which he led to victory from pole position in a very dominant way, his team mate Sergio Perez completed his Red Bull party with a second-place finish.
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