FP2: Alonso beats Russell in second Jeddah practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Saudi Arabia, Jeddah Street Circuitsa

Fernando Alonso posted the quickest lap in the second practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, beating Mercedes driver George Russell with reigning champion Max Verstappen taking third in the second one-hour session. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 2.

Although he needed to settle for P9 in the season-opener in Bahrain last Saturday, Fernando Alonso demonstrated the potential of his Aston Martin AMR24 on the opening day at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The Spaniard was the only drivers to get below the 1m29s mark in Free Practice 2, having posted a time of 1m28.827s which was over two tenths of a second quicker than what second-placed George Russell managed in his Mercedes W15.

Three-time world champion Max Verstappen took third in his Red Bull which might indicate that the battle is open this weekend. However, his race simulation run showed once again that Red Bull are clearly a step above their rivals.

Expanding on his day, the Dutchman said: “It will be again very, very tight. I think that is probably where other people are probably a bit better than us, over one lap. Our car probably comes a bit more alive on the long run.

“I think overall we learned a lot,” he added. “Of course there’s always things you look at to do better over one-lap performance, but I think also some teams already, they used a little bit more power, like they did in Bahrain, so we’ll take that also into consideration. But when we went into the long runs, it looks again quite nice, so quite happy with that.”

Ferrari had a quiet opening day with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz taking 4th and 7th in the overall standings. The Spaniard was feeling unwell which made his day complicated, although he was able to rack up a total of 26 laps in the evening session that took place in condition that are more akin to what drivers will experience in qualifying and the race.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll slotted in between the two Ferrari racers with Lewis Hamilton settling for P8. The Briton complained about the balance of his car, stating that just lacking the confidence in the rear of the car. [With] the set-up we did some work session to session, changed quite a bit, but [there was still the] underlying issue with the rear end that I was struggling with, so I had a couple of really big moments out there.”

Following a dismal opening weekend in Bahrain, Alpine appear to be closer to their rivals. Pierre Gasly set the 9th quickest lap while his team-mate Esteban Ocon took 15th on the leaderboard.

McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris finished down in P10 and P12 respectively, but the way they approach Friday’s running indicates that they will be able to unlock much more potential when it really matters.

Yuki Tsunoda ended the hour as the lead RB in 11th with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ending the day down in P19.

While Kick Sauber's Valtteri Bottas brought up the rear in P20, his team-mate Zhou Guanyu put himself into 13th place, just one hundredth of a second in front of Alex Albon in 14th.

Williams’ American driver Logan Sargeant finished in P16, while the Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg were in 17th and 18th respectively.


114Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:28.82728
263George RussellMercedes1:29.057+0.230s24
31Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:29.158+0.331s27
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:29.180+0.353s25
511Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:29.300+0.473s27
618Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:29.336+0.509s27
755Carlos SainzFerrari1:29.455+0.628s26
844Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:29.504+0.677s22
910Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:29.528+0.701s29
1081Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:29.594+0.767s27
1122Yuki TsunodaRb Honda Rbpt1:29.666+0.839s28
124Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:29.758+0.931s23
1324Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:29.777+0.950s27
1423Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:29.789+0.962s28
1531Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:29.901+1.074s27
162Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:29.934+1.107s27
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:29.985+1.158s24
1827Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:30.077+1.250s26
193Daniel RicciardoRb Honda Rbpt1:30.088+1.261s29
2077Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:30.153+1.326s27