Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were parted by Fernando Alonso in FP2 of F1 Saudi Arabian GP as the same Top 3 remains.
The FP2 in F1 Saudi Arabian GP was push lap after push lap from everyone in the pack as with fuel on board, several drivers improved even after multiple laps. But the Top 3 remained the same even though the order changed slightly.
Red Bull’s Verstappen was fastest eventually with a 1m29.603s lap as he and Perez were separated by Aston Martin’s Alonso slotting in second. The Spaniard could have been faster on his initial lap but he went off at Turn 22 which forced him to back off.
The order behind them changed multiple hands with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon eventually securing fourth before the long run started. His teammate Pierre Gasly was up there with him in sixth behind Mercedes’ George Russell.
Despite being in fifth place, Russell wasn’t too happy with the car as Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was seventh from Haas’ Nico Hulkenerg as Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz rounded out a dismal Top 10 running for them.
They were about 0.7s behind Red Bull and about half a second from Aston Martin on a circuit where they hoped to do better. It wasn’t all right still as Leclerc was heard on the radio to check if everything was fine with the car and power unit.
Just outside the Top 10 was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who wasn’t in-sync with the car, complaining about the rear grip. The first of McLaren, AlphaTauri and Williams slotted in 12th, 13th and 14th with Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda and Alexander Albon in order.
The Thai racer set his best time on the medium tyre, as Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was 15th from the lead Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu in 16th. AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries was 17th from Williams’ Logan Sargeant, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas.
🏁 FP2 CLASSIFICATION 🏁
Max, Fernando and Checo in the Top 3 💪#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/RGz6yYXrDZ
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 17, 2023
Here’s how FP1 of F1 Saudi Arabian GP panned out