Alonso takes the best time in free trials in Saudi Arabia

JEDDA.- The veteran Spanish pilot Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) set the best time of the second session and the free practice day of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prixthis Friday on the Jeddah urban circuit (6.174 km).

At 42 years old, Alonso was very comfortable on the fast Saudi route on the edge of the Red Sea. In that event he was third in last year’s race and in the first free practice session this Friday he had obtained the second best time, only surpassed then by the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

Alonso, the only driver to finish under one minute and 29 seconds on the Saudi night, finished on the time sheet of the second session ahead of the British George Russell (Mercedes) and Verstappen. He beat them by 230 and 331 thousandths of a second, respectively.

The Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) was fourth, ahead of the other Red Bull, that of the Mexican Sergio Pérez, who was fifth. Canadian Lance Stroll confirmed the good feelings of the Aston Martins and obtained the sixth best time.

The Spanish Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari) was seventh and the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) eighth.

Results of the two free rehearsal sessions on Friday:

First session in Saudi Arabia:

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:29.659 (24 laps)

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:29.845 (24)

Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:29.868 (23)

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:29.939 (23)

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:30.030 (24)

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1:30.164 (24)

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:30.231 (26)

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:30.236 (21)

Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:30.580 (18)

Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:30.747 (26)

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:30.783 (26)

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:30.917 (25)

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:30.945 (27)

Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:30.966 (27)

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:30.977 (22)

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:31.036 (25)

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:31.046 (25)

Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:31.131 (24)

Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:31.411 (19)

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:31.577 (18)

Second session:

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:28.827 (28 laps)

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:29.057 (24)

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:29.158 (27)

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:29.180 (25)

Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:29.300 (27)

Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:29.336 (27)

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1:29.455 (26)

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:29.504 (22)

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:29.528 (29)

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:29.594 (27)

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:29.666 (28)

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:29.758 (23)

Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:29.777 (27)

Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:29.789 (28)

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:29.901 (27)

Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:29.934 (27)

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:29.985 (24)

Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:30.077 (26)

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:30.088 (29)

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:30.153 (27)