Fernando Alonso Makes Fast Start In Saudi Arabia

Fernando Alonso Makes Fast Start In Saudi Arabia
Fernando Alonso Makes Fast Start In Saudi Arabia

The Formula One season was finally able to focus on the on-track action as the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix got underway on Thursday.

Hosted along the Red Sea coastline, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, a relatively new addition to the F1 calendar, has quickly gained favor among drivers for its rapid, fluid design that favors boldness.

With the mercury hovering around 30°C in the air and surpassing 40°C on the track, the first practice session (FP1) may not reflect the conditions drivers will encounter during the cooler, post-sunset Qualifying and race.

This elevates the importance of the insights gained from the second practice session (FP2), where Fernando Alonso was fastest, ahead of George Russell. Max Verstappen, fastest in FP1, was third fastest in FP2.

Fernando Alonso

“I felt good in the car today. It’s always nice to be the fastest in any session, but it’s only Free Practice so we will keep our feet on the ground and stay focused on ourselves.

“We don’t know what the others have been doing in terms of engine modes and fuel loads, so we shouldn’t read into the times too much, but it’s still been a positive day.

“We’ve had no issues with the car, completed our programme, and continued to hone the setup of the AMR24 to extract more performance.”

George Russell

“It was fun to be back on the track here in Jeddah. It’s a really high-speed circuit so that’s enjoyable. We didn’t have the car in the perfect window and FP2 was a little bit of a scrappy session. The times looked good on the single lap, and we’re not too sure yet where we’re at on the long runs.

“We did a lot of testing in FP1 with different set-ups across the cars. We then made some changes for FP2 to try and learn more about the W15. It’s still very early days; it’s only the second race of the season and the second circuit we’ve ran at in anger. We need to keep on building on our learnings and everyone will be hard at work overnight to eke out more performance. It’s so close once again so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

Max Verstappen

“The practice sessions today have been pretty good overall. The pace has been good on both the long and short runs and they have prepared the track well for a street circuit. Overall, we learnt a lot and there are always things you look to do better on a one lap performance. We know some other teams have a bit more power on the one lap so we’ll look into the data to try and improve our overall performance and extract as much as we can from this. Looking to qualifying I am feeling good; it will be tight but we are happy with our performance today and looking forward to tomorrow.”

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