Race preview: Saudi Arabia
Get up to speed on all you need to know ahead of Alex racing in Jeddah
Published
06 Mar 2024
Est Reading Time
2 min
After a difficult opener, it’s time for Alex and his Williams team to swap the Persian Gulf for the Red Sea, ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
A two-and-a-half hour flight across the Arabian Peninsula presents Albono with a second consecutive race under the lights, and another peculiar schedule due to the start of the holy month of Ramadan this weekend.
That means the first two practice sessions fall on Thursday, Qualifying takes place on Friday, and Saturday hosts a Grand Prix that will cap off an all-Arabian double header at the start of the longest season in Formula One history.
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is one of extremes. It is the second longest circuit on the calendar – only a lap of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium covers more ground – but it is also one of the fastest, with some 70% of that distance spent at full throttle.
It is the fastest street circuit on the calendar, and not far off being the fastest circuit anywhere – though Monza’s Temple of Speed just beats it to that crown.
After an unusually cold Bahrain Grand Prix, Alex and the team will have to make a quick adjustment to the kind of heat more regularly associated with F1 events.
Rain is a rarity in this part of the world, and temperatures are expected to settle around 30 degrees C / 87 F, on each of the three days of action.
Alex’s run around the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was cut short due to brake problems in 2023, and he’ll be hoping for an improved race this time around.
Despite retiring from P13, he was quite positive about the car’s performance last year, saying “it’s the best the car has felt since my time driving at Williams.”
Fast forward twelve months and Albono is maintaining that positive mindset, and is looking forward to the challenge that Saudi Arabia will present.
“Jeddah is a fun track and all about confidence with its fast and flowing nature. It’ll be interesting to go to another circuit and see how the FW46 performs.
“Hopefully we can take the learnings from Bahrain and put them to use this weekend in the midfield fight.”
We’re all hoping for a strong weekend from the whole team at Williams – and look forward to seeing your support for Alex as he embarks on another big weekend of F1 action!
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