Fernando Alonso Led Day 1 of Practice in Jeddah

March 7, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Have the Aston Martins been reborn? After a lackluster round 1 in Bahrain Aston martin is looking to find that spark again like they did at the begging of the 2023 season. Today in FP2 we saw a glimpse of that brilliance when Fernando Alonso finished on top of the table in Jeddah. The street circuit is one of the most technical on the calendar and the drivers will be pushed to the brink in order to find consistency with lap times.

Alonso Sets the Bar for FP3

Alonso set a 1m28.827s lap time ahead of George Russell who was 0.0230s behind and Max Verstappen who was just over 3 tenths behind. Charles Leclerc finished in 4th ahead of Sergio Perez in 5th. Perez had positive thoughts on the day despite not finishing in the top 3. He said, “I think we’re in a good spot, in a good place – it was a very positive Thursday. We have a very good idea which direction we need to take to make the car faster and if we’re able to do that, it’s going to benefit the long run, it’s going to benefit the qualifying. So, very pleased with the day.”

Daniel Ricciardo Falls Behind Again

After finishing 12th in FP1 Ricciardo didn’t move in the direction he had hoped. With his job at RB on the line, moving towards the back of the grid is not what is going to convince Red Bull that they made the right decision to forgo Liam Lawson. To make matters worse RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda out performed Ricciardo yet again finishing the session 11th. Ricciardo said, “It was an FP2 session of two halves. We were competitive on the first set of the soft compound but instead, I struggled a lot with the second set.

The track was getting better, and everyone was improving, but I really struggled to improve my time because I encountered some traffic and didn’t feel that bite. The second set was a little bit of a mystery, so there’s something to learn from that, but looking at the first set, we don’t have to be too discouraged. We’ll get back to work tonight and understand how we can put it all together.”

Tsunoda Ends FP2 on Positive Note

Tsunoda moved in the opposite direction finishing behind Ricciardo in FP1 but ahead in FP2. He had more positive thoughts on the day. “Overall, today was a good day,” Tsunoda said. “There are still a couple of areas to look into tonight, but the car is feeling ok in terms of balance. The data we gathered in both Practice Sessions today is important and will help us find more time for tomorrow. I lost out on Q3 by seven-thousandths of a second last week in Bahrain and that shows it’s a very tight field, but this keeps the team and myself motivated and focused. Tonight is about finetuning and putting it together for tomorrow and the race on Saturday. Let’s see how we go.”

FP3 kicks off in a few short hours. Can Ricciardo return to podium challenging form?

Full FP2 Results from Jeddah

114Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:28.827
263George RussellMERCEDES1:29.057+0.230s
31Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:29.158+0.331s
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:29.180+0.353s
511Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:29.300+0.473s
618Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:29.336+0.509s
755Carlos SainzFERRARI1:29.455+0.628s
844Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:29.504+0.677s
910Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:29.528+0.701s
1081Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:29.594+0.767s
1122Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:29.666+0.839s
124Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:29.758+0.931s
1324Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:29.777+0.950s
1423Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:29.789+0.962s
1531Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:29.901+1.074s
162Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:29.934+1.107s
1720Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:29.985+1.158s
1827Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:30.077+1.250s
193Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:30.088+1.261s
2077Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:30.153+1.326s