Report: Work to be done after Qualifying in Jeddah

Published on
18 Mar 2023
Est. reading time
3 Min

Positives to be taken from an ultimately frustrating day

We will have work to do in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a tough Qualifying session saw both of our drivers knocked out in Q1. Alex Albon will start in P17 with Logan Sargeant in P20.
After the three Free Practice sessions, it was clear that the midfield battle was going to be tight, with there just over half a second separating Fernando Alonso in P3 and Logan in P16.
Qualifying had started well for our duo, with Alex in P9 after his first push and Logan setting a lap fourth-tenths quicker, only for it to be deleted for a track limits infringement at the pit entry.
With Logan needing to set a time, he spun at Turn 23 on his second flying lap whilst Alex also had a moment earlier in the lap at Turn 4.
LS2 kept it out of the wall but on his third and final push, he locked up at Turn 1 before pulling to the side of the track, bringing an unwanted end to his second Qualifying session in Formula 1.
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Alex was able to shave off two-tenths on his final push, but his 1:30.167 placed him in P17 at the end of Q1.
“We struggled with the rear tyres in qualifying,” Alex shared after jumping out of the FW45, adding: “So we’ll have a look and understand why. We've been quick all weekend so it's just frustrating.
“Looking to tomorrow, we have a decent car in the race so I think we can do a good job. Today is obviously disappointing but hopefully we can turn something around for tomorrow.”
Logan was understandably upset after losing a lap time that would have been good enough to progress to Q2 but will take the lessons from a tough day, saying: “I put in a very fast lap but it was deleted as I crossed the pit lane entry by a margin.
“There was no performance gain so it’s frustrating, but I still had two more laps to deliver and I didn’t, so my apologies go to the team as they deserved more today.
“We need to take the positives from today, put this behind us and bounce back. The car is quick, we have a lot of straight-line speed and fortunately, it can be a crazy race here in Jeddah and there can be a lot of positions to pick up.
“Although I’ve given myself a lot more work than I needed to, I’m quite optimistic about tomorrow and I’ll make it up to the team.”
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Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, rounded out our Qualifying reaction by stating: “Q1 was incredibly tight and today we were just on the wrong side of the cut-off. Although Logan’s first lap was deleted, his pace was legitimate and showed what the car was capable of.
“Alex struggled a bit more to get the tyres into a state where he was comfortable to attack the start of the lap and was therefore unable to get everything out of the car over a single lap.
“Logan will have learned a lot from today and although he is frustrated at the result, this experience will be invaluable going forwards.
“It is disappointing not to have progressed further into qualifying, but the car had good pace at high fuel yesterday and both drivers can have strong races tomorrow.”

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