Formula 1 News: Fernando Alonso started first as the first F1 free practice session began, following which Nico Hulkenberg and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin moved ahead, setting the first fastest time a few minutes later.
Hulkenberg’s time of 1m39.317s was rapidly surpassed by Pierre Gasly. Then, Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez, Yuki Tsunoda, and Daniel Ricciardo, before Max Verstappen set the earliest time of 1m34.167s.
Ahead of this lap, Max had run deep and off the track at the final curve. And, as well as Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and afterwards Gasly and Lewis Hamilton.
Perez improved to a 1m32.021s on the hards as the Red Bull drivers resumed their initial runs, before Verstappen took the lead with a 1m31.885s on the same white-walled rubber.
After 15 minutes, Verstappen improved to 1m30.888s. But, then the session was red-flagged because the 50m brake marker board had fallen off.
After nearly 25 minutes, the Ferrari drivers emerged, joining the Red Bull drivers by starting on the hards.
Leclerc achieved a sequence of personal best performances with a long opening run on the hards, closing the gap to just 0.582s by the 40-minute mark.
Verstappen attempted again on the soft. This came after a pause in the action near the end of the race. But, his personal best set on the hards remained unchanged.
Formula 1 News: Results and overview of the FP1 held in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
That performance appeared to be the best of the session. Especially, when the Ferraris only returned for the final five minutes to run the softs. And, Leclerc could only get 0.304s behind Verstappen on his first flier on that rubber.
With two minutes left, the championship leader slipped ahead with a 1m30.772s lap.
Bottas finished third fastest. Sainz finished fourth, 0.367s behind his teammate, edging out AlphaTauri’s Gasly and Tsunoda.
Then followed Perez and Ocon, with Hamilton in tenth place as the lead Mercedes driver, citing further porpoising issues as well as a late glance with the barriers.
Mercedes experimented with varied wing specifications across its cars, resulting in George Russell finishing 15th.
And, the Haas drivers finished last in the field.
Formula 1 News: Results and overview of the FP2 held in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
In second practice for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc beat out Max Verstappen, although his session was cut short after he collided with the wall.
With 20 minutes remaining, though, Leclerc collided with the wall at Turn 4 and then pulled off before limping back to the pits to have his F1-75 inspected.
Verstappen’s best lap was on the medium tire, after the Dutchman’s first run was cut short due to a tire failure at Turn 2.
After the Haas of Kevin Magnussen stopped out on track (below) with a suspected power unit issue, his second run was disrupted by a Virtual Safety Car.
Carlos Sainz was third fastest, with Sergio Perez’s second Red Bull fourth.
Hamilton was fifth and 0.439s off the pace, with teammate Russell a tenth of a second back in P6.
Lando Norris was seventh following his soft tire lap, a bit ahead of eighth-place Esteban Ocon, who held the advantage over Alpine teammate Fernando Alonso (P11) once more.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas finished ninth, while Yuki Tsunoda was the best-placed AlphaTauri in 10th.
Mick Schumacher finished 13th in the Haas, ahead of Pierre Gasly, who was 12th. Lance Stroll was 14th for Aston Martin, while Daniel Ricciardo was 15th for McLaren after failing to complete a lap on the soft tires.
Nico Hulkenberg was 16th, while rookie Zhou Guanyu was 17th. And, Nicholas Latifi edged off Alex Albon for 18th place.