Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Max Verstappen topped both of the practice session in Jeddah as Red Bull and Aston Martin continued to be the fastest teams.
The second practice, the only representative session the drivers will have before qualifying tomorrow, got underway under the lights in Jeddah. Lance Stroll led the pack out as the majority of drivers were raring to get out and circulating at the start, the exception to that though was Sergio Perez who remained in his garage for a few extra minutes.
(FP2) Second Practice Results – 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda had a close call in the early stages after hitting the wall at T22 and just as the first ten minutes of the session ended it was Perez on top with a 1:30.428 set on the mediums, with Fernando Alonso less than two tenths behind.
With fifteen minutes of the session gone the track quietened down and there were a few seconds of silence between Tsunoda entering the pits and Alonso re-emerging to kick off the soft running. At that stage Max Verstappen had outpaced his teammate to take over P1 with a 1:29.952, the reigning champion has so far been the only driver with a sub-ninety second lap this weekend though he was quicker in FP1 when he set a 1:29.617.
Tsunoda wasn’t the only one to get caught out by the new, tighter T22 as Alonso got out of shape on his first flyer on the softs and had to abandon the lap. Just before the halfway point of the session Nico Hulkenberg put in a fantastic lap for Haas, a 1:30.181, which shot him up the timesheets to P4, behind the two Red Bulls and Alonso who had all made it into the 1:29s.
The track went almost silent again as the session headed towards the final twenty minutes as the qualifying simulations ended and the teams set themselves up for long runs. The softs and mediums were most team’s pick for the race simulations but Williams did put Logan Sargeant out on the hards for the final portion of the session.
The timesheets didn’t change and so it was Verstappen who ended fastest with a 1:29.603, just beating his FP1 time, while Alonso was just over two tenths slower for Aston Martin while Perez took P3 three tenths off his teammate’s pace. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon ended the day P4 with a 1:30.039 ahead of George Russell and the other Alpine of Pierre Gasly.
Stroll ended the day P7, 0.507 seconds off Verstappen, while Hulkenberg took P8 for Haas, the top ten was rounded out by the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, and Lewis Hamilton in P11 was the last of the drivers within a second of the fastest time of the day.