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Max dominates Friday in Jeddah: 'We had a positive day'

Published on 17 March 2023 by Stefan Meens

After setting the quickest time of the opening practice session, Max Verstappen was also fastest in the second Friday practice session of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Team mate Sergio Perez was third quickest as the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso split the pair of Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19s.

“We had a positive day”, said Max after a successful Friday. “Both sessions went well and without issues. The balance in the car was good, but there are still quite a few things we can improve. It was close during the long runs but that’s because everyone is managing their tyres. It won’t be the same as Bahrain.”

Unlike the morning session, the conditions in FP2 are likely to mimic those of qualifying and Sunday’s race as the temperatures have dropped and the session is run under the flood lights.

At the start of session it is busy out on track. Amongst the eager drivers is Max, who’s first flying lap, on the medium Pirellis, propels him to P1. Soon after, Alonso usurps the Dutchman, with his Aston Martin also sporting the yellow side-walled medium tyres. Alonso cannot enjoy top spot for long as Max retaliates on his next attempt by going quickest again. 

Twenty minutes in, all drivers have switched to the soft Pirellis, indicating the teams have shifted their attention to qualifying simulations. Red Bull Racing lead the way with Perez setting the quickest time early on, before Max clocks the quickest lap of the day to go top.

From the halfway mark, the emphasis is on race runs, meaning the order on the timing sheets does not change much in the second half of the session. Max is mainly running a set of used softs to complete the remainder of FP2 in which the reigning champ continues the good form he’s shown so far this season.

Contest GP Saudi Arabia: win a by Max Verstappen signed Red Bull Racing Driver Cap 2023!

Results second free practice Saudi Arabia:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:29.603 28
2Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:29.811+0.208s25
3Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:29.902+0.299s25
4Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:30.039+0.436s26
5George RussellRUSMercedes1:30.070+0.467s26
6Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:30.100+0.497s27
7Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:30.110+0.507s26
8Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:30.181+0.578s26
9Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:30.341+0.738s27
10Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:30.592+0.989s28
11Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:30.599+0.996s26
12Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:30.721+1.118s26
13Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:30.776+1.173s29
14Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:30.810+1.207s26
15Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:30.820+1.217s24
16Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:30.837+1.234s26
17Nyck De VriesDEVAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:30.921+1.318s28
18Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:30.959+1.356s29
19Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:30.964+1.361s25
20Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:31.052+1.449s29