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.”
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.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:29.603||28|
|2||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:29.811||+0.208s||25|
|3||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:29.902||+0.299s||25|
|4||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:30.039||+0.436s||26|
|6||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||1:30.100||+0.497s||27|
|7||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:30.110||+0.507s||26|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||1:30.181||+0.578s||26|
|12||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:30.721||+1.118s||26|
|13||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:30.776||+1.173s||29|
|14||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||1:30.810||+1.207s||26|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:30.820||+1.217s||24|
|16||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:30.837||+1.234s||26|
|17||Nyck De Vries||DEV||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:30.921||+1.318s||28|
|18||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||1:30.959||+1.356s||29|
|19||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||1:30.964||+1.361s||25|
|20||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:31.052||+1.449s||29|