Alonso Leads Practice in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with Russell Close Behind

In the practice sessions for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets, followed closely by Mercedes’ George Russell and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Here’s a breakdown of the session:

Practice Results:

  • Alonso Sets the Pace: Fernando Alonso secured the fastest time, edging out George Russell by 0.230 seconds and Max Verstappen by 0.331 seconds.
  • Top Contenders: Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished fourth, trailing Alonso by 0.353 seconds, while Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes struggled and ended up in eighth place.
  • Challenges for Mercedes: Both Mercedes drivers faced difficulties with rear-end grip during short runs, with Hamilton notably lacking confidence in the rear of his car.
  • Impeding Incidents: Several drivers encountered impeding issues due to the track’s layout and visibility challenges. Hamilton was investigated for impeding Williams driver Logan Sergeant but received only a warning and a team fine.
  • Verstappen’s Long-Run Pace: Despite not topping the timesheets in single-lap pace, Max Verstappen showcased strong performance on long runs, demonstrating Red Bull’s competitive edge in race simulations.

Driver Comments:

  • Alonso’s Confidence: Fernando Alonso expressed confidence despite it being only practice, noting that their strategy differs from qualifying runs.
  • Russell’s Assessment: George Russell described the session as a bit scrappy but recognized the Ferraris and Astons as their closest rivals.
  • Hamilton’s Struggles: Lewis Hamilton faced challenges with rear stability and expressed the need for confidence in the car’s handling, highlighting differences in setup direction compared to his teammate.
  • Verstappen’s Strong Performance: Max Verstappen demonstrated impressive pace on long runs, positioning Red Bull as a formidable contender for the race.


As teams fine-tune their setups and strategies for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Alonso’s leading performance underscores Aston Martin’s potential, while Verstappen’s consistency on long runs suggests Red Bull’s strength in race pace. With Mercedes facing challenges, the stage is set for an intriguing battle among the top contenders in the upcoming race.

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