Day One at the Jeddah Street Circuit has come to a close with Max Verstappen topping both practice sessions as Red Bull’s dominance continues to wow fans.
Max Verstappen finished the evening off with chart-topping speeds in FP2 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix while Fernando Alonso held firm in second to prove Aston Martin is a force to be reckoned with this year.
The Dutchman, who led a Red Bull one-two from Sergio Perez in the opening session, left the rest of the field in the dust later today as he delivered a lap in 1:29.603 – finishing 0.2s clear of Alonso.
READ MORE: FP1 Saudi Arabia: Max Verstappen fastest but Aston Martin showing pace at Jeddah
Perez was a tenth behind Alonso in third at the high-speed street circuit and was showing promising pace in the night-time conditions that best represent those expected for Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.
Alpine finished fourth early doors this weekend, and although we can’t look too much into Free Practice times, the team is showing much improvement as Esteban Ocon and team-mate Pierre Gasly were split by Mercedes’ George Russell.
The day didn’t run as smoothly for Russell’s team-mate, Lewis Hamilton (P9), who endured a difficult session, finishing down in 11th.
He was behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who will be disappointed with their performance having expected to be Verstappen’s biggest challengers in Saudi Arabia.
It was confirmed late on Friday evening that both Ferrari men have had new power units installed in their SF-23s as a ‘precaution’.
Lance Stroll was also enjoying improved performance and was in seventh for Aston Martin, while Nico Hulkenberg in the Haas finished ahead of the Ferraris and Hamilton in ninth.
Lando Norris took 12th, but their struggles look set to continue with Oscar Piastri finishing the day down in 19th.