Fernando Alonso starred in Bahrain two Sundays ago, the Aston Martin was again the leading light, on Friday evening, during FP2 for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Alonso was the only one close to the Red Bull’s in Jeddah, so close he split them ending the session second fastest a couple of tenths adrift of Max Verstappen at the top of the time sheets and a tenth up on Sergio Perez in the other Blue car.
It’s clear that the Aston Martin AMR23 is a solid car, on two out of two circuits thus far it has enabled Alonso to strut his stuff as he did with such aplomb and style in Bahrain, and today setting the stage for another Alonso-spectacular.
Reflecting on the day, in the Aston team report, Alonso said: “It has been a strong day for us as we continue to learn about this car. We knew that Jeddah would present different challenges to Bahrain and it is almost like a second test here for everyone this weekend.
“Overall, the day went smoothly for us as we are trying to optimise the setup and adjust to the high-speed nature of this circuit. We have a lot of data to analyse as usual for a Friday and we will continue to look at everything tonight and into tomorrow. Our main goal will be to reach Q3 again,” declared Alonso.
Stroll: Our aim has to be Q3
In the sister car, the team owners son Lance Stroll was still in recovery mode after a bike accident nearly kept him out of action. Nevertheless, despite not being fully fit the Canadian was seventh fastest, a quarter second down on his teammate.
Stroll reported: “It is always fun driving around this track. It is high-speed and high adrenaline; I think we all enjoy the challenge. The team had a good day of running, trying lots of different things, and it has given us plenty of data to analyse.
“We will use this evening to learn as much as possible and do our best find more performance ahead of Qualifying. I think it will be a pretty tight session; all the teams around us look competitive and closely matched. Our aim has to be Q3,” concluded Stroll, echoing his teammate.
On Sunday in Jeddah, Alonso will be making his 358th F1 start, for Stroll, it will be his 124th. The Spaniard has not won an F1 in a decade, since he triumphed for Ferrari at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.