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FORMULA 1

Checo Pérez position and times at the GP de Arabia Saudita F1 second practice classification

Max Verstappen, Sergio Pérez and Fernando Alonso are in a class all their own at the top of the grid in Saudi Arabia

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Max Verstappen, Sergio Pérez and Fernando Alonso are in a class all their own at the top of the grid in Saudi Arabia
GIUSEPPE CACACEAFP

The second date of the 2023 Formula 1 calendar brings us to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and on just the first day of practice in Jeddah, Red Bull showed its power with Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez taking the top positions, while Fernando Alonso continues to getting the most out of his Aston Martin.

Checo comes to Jeddah as the king of street circuits. This type of track layout suits the Mexican well and it was in Saudi Arabia that he won his first pole position last year. In the first part of free practice he had an intense battle with Fernando Alonso as they traded ever lower lap times.

Both drivers traded the lead, until Max Verstappen arrived to put a stop to the proceedings. The Dutchman, who had stomach problems before the GP, showed up at the first practices and immediately showed his power. The two-time world champion took pole, while Pérez was just below, only four-tenths behind his teammate. It is worth mentioning that in the second part of the session, Pérez did not feel completely comfortable after reporting some minor problems over the radio. Even so, that number 19 Red Bull car still looks impressive.

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Position 3 in the second session

For the second practice session, the story was much the same. Verstappen, Pérez, and Alonso at the top of the pile. Checo was substantially closer to Max’s times, lagging by only two-tenths behind the two-time champion’s best time. At the end of the session, Pérez finished in third place with a time of 1:29.902, as Alonso wiggled in between the two Red Bulls.

For the second half of the session, the drivers focused on the race pace, and Pérez once again looked strong, sounding a warning as top what could happen on Sunday, although qualifying will play a key role.