For world champion Lewis Hamilton it was enough to set the best time in both training sessions. After title rival Max Verstappen Hamilton comes close to 56 thousandths at the start, the Dutchman has to admit defeat by two tenths under floodlights, only finishing fourth behind Bottas in the second Mercedes and AlphaTauri man Pierre Gasly – even though both Mercedes drivers are their fastest Turn the lap on the theoretically slower medium tire.
However, the problem with traffic worries Hamilton. There are several hair-raising scenes on Friday, because slow cars are loitering on the track, while the competitors come shot from behind at over 300 km / h. “The track is incredibly fast and offers a lot of grip. Once you get into the rhythm, it is very nice. The traffic here is much worse than anywhere else. It’s like in Monaco, only the speed with which you run up here makes it , for making it a little dangerous, “says Hamilton.
What Red Bull and Mercedes share after practice are tire concerns: “We felt very strong on the hard tires, but the softer the compound became, the more diva-like the car became as soon as we tried to get the most out of it. That we have to analyze tonight. ” Horner also knows: “If you listen to the comments of the others, we are definitely not alone. Everyone has difficulties in finding the right window. If that succeeds, there is a lot of performance.”
Friday is far less promising for Horner’s ex-protégé Sebastian Vettel. The Aston Martin star is one place behind stable mate Lance Stroll only 16th, 1.484 seconds behind the best time. Compatriot Mick Schumacher is 18th in the Haas, only two positions behind Vettel, beating not only teammate Nikita Mazepin but also Williams driver Nicholas Latifi as he did in the first Jeddah training session.
Formula 1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia
2. Free practice:
2. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Mercedes +0.061 sec.
3. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri +0.081
4. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull +0.195
5. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine +0.423
6. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine +0.537
7. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari +0.571
8. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri +0.579
9. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull +0.750
10. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari +0.754
11. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren +0.950
12. Lando Norris (Great Britain) – McLaren +0.986
13. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) – Alfa Romeo +1.092
14. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) – Alfa Romeo +1.258
15. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin +1.424
16. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin +1.484
17. George Russell (Great Britain) – Williams +1,488
18. Mick Schumacher (Gland / Switzerland) – Haas +1.634
19. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams +2,021
20. Nikita Masepin (Russia) – Haas +2,611