2024 Saudi Arabian GP FP1: Max Verstappen Tops Alonso

Following his win in the season's first race, Red Bull's Max Verstappen led FP1 in Saudi Arabia, with Fernando Alonso in second.


By Ben Bush
Updated on March 9, 2024

Max Verstappen RB20 Red Bull 2024 Saudi Arabian GP FP1
Max Verstappen, RB20, Red Bull – 2024 Saudi Arabian GP FP1

Kicking off a promising 2024 Formula 1 season, Max Verstappen for Red Bull outperformed Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in the opening practice session of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, continuing his strong performance.

After securing a victory in the Bahrain race, marking the start of his pursuit for a fourth consecutive driver’s championship, Verstappen finished nearly two-tenths of a second ahead of Alonso on the Jeddah street circuit.

Formula One History Recommends

Sergio Perez, last year’s Saudi Arabian GP winner, demonstrated good speed by finishing third, hinting at Red Bull’s potential to maintain its dominance after winning 21 of the 22 races in 2023.

In the Mercedes camp, George Russell outshone his teammate, securing fourth place, while Lewis Hamilton lagged behind by nearly three-tenths of a second in eighth.

The Ferrari team saw Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finish in fifth and sixth places, respectively, with Lando Norris clinching seventh for McLaren. In contrast, Norris’s teammate, Oscar Piastri, had difficulties, ending up in 15th place.

Lance Stroll for Aston Martin finished ninth despite losing around 20 minutes of the session due to a high-speed crash into the barrier at Turn 22, luckily escaping significant damage.

As Red Bull continues to show promising performance, second practice is scheduled for Thursday evening at 5 pm UK time. It will take place under night-time conditions similar to the upcoming qualifying and race, providing a more accurate gauge of the weekend’s competitive hierarchy.

Russell, who previously out-raced Hamilton by securing fourth in Bahrain, led the pack after the initial runs on hard tyres. The 26-year-old impressed again by regaining the lead after the first runs on soft tyres, but Verstappen leveraged the circuit’s low tyre wear to make substantial improvements on the same set. Perez managed to move ahead of Russell before Alonso, following a late performance run as the track conditions improved, and secured second spot.

Saudi Arabian GP FP1 Results

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, 7 March 2024

1) Max VerstappenRed Bull1:29.659
2) Fernando AlonsoAston Martin+0.186
3) Sergio PerezRed Bull+0.209
4) George RussellMercedes+0.280
5) Charles LeclercFerrari+0.371
6) Carlos SainzFerrari+0.505
7) Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.572
8) Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.577
9) Lance StrollAston Martin+0.921
10) Alexander AlbonWilliams+1.088
11) Valtteri BottasSauber+1.124
12) Daniel RicciardoRB+1.258
13) Esteban OconAlpine+1.286
14) Logan SargeantWilliams+1.307
15) Oscar PiastriMcLaren+1.318
16) Yuki TsunodaRB+1.377
17) Pierre GaslyAlpine+1.387
18) Zhou GuanyuSauber+1.472
19) Nico HulkenbergHaas+1.752
20) Kevin MagnussenHaas+1.918

Seen in:

About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

Latest Reads