Max Verstappen led the way in FP1 of F1 Saudi Arabian GP with teammate Sergio Perez in second after late lap to push Fernando Alonso to third.

Having missed Thursday due to stomach bug, Red Bull’s Verstappen was on the job straight up with the best time of 1m29.617s lap to top FP1 session of F1 Saudi Arabian GP. He was nearly half a second ahead of his teammate Perez.

He popped in a late lap to second which dropped Alonso in third, as both the Red Bull cars, especially the Mexican facing issues throughout the session. Both had some off moments as did several of the drivers at Turn 22 where they took the kerbs more on the exit.

A late push lap from Lance Stroll put him in fourth after he had a hairy moment when he caught traffic in a blind corner. The two Mercedes cars of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton slotted in fifth and sixth, where they had some grip issues.

Ferrari were down on pace seemingly with Carlos Sainz seventh and Charles Leclerc only 11th behind Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, Williams’ Alexander Albon and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda where the Japanese driver pushed Leclerc out of Top 10 with a late lap.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was 12th from AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries as the first of McLaren and Haas of Oscar Piastri and Nico Hulkenberg slotted in 14th and 15th, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen 16th from the other Williams of Logan Sargeant.

The Alfa Romeo pair of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu had a low-key session in 18th and 19th, with McLaren’s Lando Norris 20th after the Brit did not complete a fast lap after a late call from team to pit disturbed his lap.

In terms of the PU elements, multiple drivers are already on their second element in the second grand prix itself. Leclerc is already to have a 10-place grid penalty for this third Control Electronics and interestingly Red Bull have gone for their second CE with Perez.

In addition, Leclerc has taken his second engine along with teammate Sainz while Norris has taken his second too. Both Leclerc and Norris have taken up their second Motor Generator Unit – Heat, with the latter taking a new MGU – Kinetic and Turbo Charger.

Along with a new CE, Perez has taken a new Energy Store too. Here’s the full list:

In other news, ahead of the FP1 session, Hamilton revealed about long-time trainer Angela Cullen leaving his side to pursue her dreams. Having been together for seven years, the Brit while thanking her, wished her good for the future ahead.

“For the last seven years Angela Cullen has been by my side, pushing me to be the best version of myself. I am a stronger athlete and a better person because of her. So today I hope you’ll join me in wishing her the very best as she takes her next steps to pursue her dreams. Thank you for everything Ang, I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you,” wrote Hamilton.