Saudi Arabian GP: Fernando Alonso tops FP2, Lewis Hamilton summoned to stewards

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso in Saudi Arabian GP practice.

Fernando Alonso topped FP2 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso topped FP2 for the Saudi Arabian GP, ahead of George Russell and Max Verstappen around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

An alleged impeding incident has seen Lewis Hamilton summoned to the stewards, meanwhile, with Logan Sargeant forced to swerve to avoid hitting the Mercedes driver early in the session.

Fernando Alonso tops FP2 at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

After Verstappen topped FP1 in Saudi Arabia, night fell and the floodlights took over for FP2 around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for what would represent the true conditions for Friday’s qualifying session.

But a 10-minute delay to the start of the session would take place as drain covers would be fixed in the pit lane, but it wasn’t long before the drivers were back out on track for second practice on Thursday.

A big swerve for Logan Sargeant came when he had to take evasive action behind Lewis Hamilton in the fast first sector, with Carlos Sainz then complaining about the “super dangerous” speed of the seven-time World Champion while he was on a slow lap – which will be investigated by the stewards after the session for impeding, later confirmed that he has been summoned.

The initial medium tyre runs left a top three of Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, but the main crux of FP2 are the headline times from qualifying simulations.

A 1:28.827 represented a seven-tenth improvement for Alonso in the Aston Martin when he moved onto soft tyres, with the high-speed Jeddah layout offering plenty of track evolution and a significant tyre delta in the session.

Last year’s winner in Saudi Arabia, Sergio Perez was around half a second down on Alonso’s best time on his first qualifying simulation, while Lando Norris was nine tenths down and complaining of his McLaren bottoming out at high speed.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Top F1 Fantasy picks ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

How to watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for FREE this weekend

There was a hairy moment for George Russell as he swore behind his team radio as he approached Yuki Tsunoda at pace on a flying lap, before he was able to pick himself up and go second quickest behind Alonso.

That ended up being the end of the qualifying sims from the drivers as attention then switched to long run focus, with medium tyres and high fuel going into the cars for the end of the session.

While no outright lap times were bettered, it was a chance for the drivers to get a glimpse into where their race pace may lie heading into the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Things did not improve for Hamilton late on his race run, suffering a snap of oversteer at Turn 22 and a loss of balance as a result, but complained of a loss of power and soon trundled back to his pit box as a result, while Lance Stroll was shown the black and white flag as a warning for not obeying track limits.

But over one lap, it was Alonso and Russell who came out on top on Thursday in second practice, Alonso two tenths ahead of the Mercedes driver and three tenths ahead of Verstappen in third.

Saudi Arabian GP 2024: FP2 classification

1 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin 1:28.827
2 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.230
3 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull +0.331
4 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.353
5 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull +0.473
6 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +0.509
7 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.628
8 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.677
9 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.701
10 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.767
11 Yuki TSUNODA RB +0.839
12 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.931
13 Guanyu ZHOU Kick Sauber +0.950
14 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.962
15 Esteban OCON Alpine +1.074
16 Logan SARGEANT Williams +1.107
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas +1.158
18 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +1.250
19 Daniel RICCIARDO RB +1.261
20 Valtteri BOTTAS Kick Sauber +1.326

Read next: Christian Horner responds to Jos Verstappen’s controversial Bahrain GP comments