Saudi report: day 2
Positivity from qualifying in Jeddah
Published
08 Mar 2024
Est Reading Time
2 min
And day two on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit is complete!
A quiet start to FP3 saw Alex eventually roll out onto track after 15 minutes, in what is typically the most unrepresentative session of the racing conditions here in Saudi.
Albono racked up 13 laps during an interrupted session, with the Sauber of Zhou Guanyu hitting the barrier to bring out the red flag midway through.
A 1:29.808 meant Alex ended the final practice in Jeddah in P17.
As day turned to night on the streets of Jeddah, it was time for qualifying.
Alex made a positive start to Q1, setting a 1:29.551 and then a 1:29.107 to go P8 temporarily. After boxing for a fresh set of softs, Albono set back out to defend his Q2 spot.
With the track getting rubbered in, lap times got faster, and Alex was able to improve on his time to narrowly creep through in P15 by just seven hundredths of a second.
Q2 saw a false start, with the Hass of Nico Hulkenberg pulling over to bring out the red flag just a couple of minutes in. Upon the restart, Alex rolled back out with nine minutes on the clock and a busy track.
With lap times getting quicker and quicker, Albono set a 1:29.409 to initially go P13. Alex continued to push, but so did the rest of the grid, and a final flying lap time of 1:28.980 meant Q3 was just a step too far on the day.
Going into tomorrow starting P12, Albono was left feeling pretty positive, commenting, “Yeah, I’m quite happy with that.
“I think P12 is raceable. It’s where we want to be
“I think it’s better than what we expected.
“We struggled a bit to get the tyres to work. I don’t think we got all the lap time out of the car - enough for Q3, I don’t think so.
“At the same time, while we were a bit kinder on our tyres, hopefully it serves us tomorrow well in the race.”
Bring on race day here in Saudi Arabia!
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