Max Verstappen led the pack in FP1 and FP2 during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. In FP1, Red Bull‘s Sergio Perez took the lead early on with a time of 1m31.486s, but was pipped by Aston Martin‘s Fernando Alonso who clocked in at 1m31.262s. Despite falling behind initially, Verstappen made an impressive comeback with his second run and beat Alonso‘s time by 0.083s. Verstappen then went even faster with a third run on the same tyres, setting the quickest time of 1m29.617s, while Lance Stroll came in fourth fastest. In FP2, Verstappen was back in the lead, followed by Alonso and Perez with Esteban Ocon‘s Alpine taking fourth place.
During FP1, Alonso was almost a second quicker than Verstappen in his initial runs, before being beaten by Verstappen‘s second run by 0.015s. Verstappen continued to push and got faster and faster with each successive run. Alonso came close to Verstappen‘s time with 16 minutes to go but couldn’t quite make it, while Perez regained his second spot, 0.483s off his team leader. Stroll leapt to fourth with his Aston, while Mercedes‘ George Russell was fifth fastest.
In FP2, Verstappen, Alonso, and Perez exchanged the top spot as the teams evaluated the medium tyres, with Verstappen getting down to 1m29.952s. As the teams switched to softs for qualifying simulations, Perez initially went fastest with 1m29.902s, while Alonso‘s opening gambit was ruined by cutting the chicane at Turn 22/23. Verstappen took the lead with a time of 1m29.603s, three tenths faster than Perez. Alonso improved his time and took second place, two-tenths off Verstappen‘s time, with Ocon‘s Alpine taking fourth place.