REPORT: In the mix after Jeddah Qualifying

Published on
08 Mar 2024
Est. reading time
3 Min

Alex Albon will start tomorrow’s race from P12, with Logan Sargeant in P19

The grid is set for Saturday evening’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and we are in a good position to fight after Qualifying.
Alex Albon will start from P12, whilst Logan Sargeant will line up P19 following a compromised day at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Our American racer brushed the wall on his first push of FP3, causing damage to his front left, forcing him to watch on from the sidelines until quali.
The Williams duo were evenly matched after their first Q1 push laps, but Sarge couldn’t find enough time on his final flyer to make it out of the dropzone.
As for Alex, he was forced to abort his final push after weaving his way through traffic but progressed into Q2 for the second successive week by the finest of margins.
An early red flag was shown in Q2 after Nico Hulkenberg was forced to pull his Haas over. Albono set a benchmark time of 1:29.409 on used softs once the session resumed.
Once new tyres were fitted, Alex shaved off more time on his final Q2 effort, with a 1:28.980 good enough for P12.
"I’m mostly happy with P12 but I know we’re still missing Q3 by a few tenths," Alex shared after Qualifying, adding: "so we’re a little further from where we want to be but it’s good progress.
"We have good race pace and I think we’ll be able to manage the tyres reasonably well tomorrow.
"Whilst we struggled a little bit today, our race pace looks to be slightly better than some of our competitors, so we’ll see what we can do with it tomorrow."
Logan is already looking ahead on Saturday's race, commenting: "We’ve had the car in a good place all weekend and it was definitely capable of getting through to Q2.
"Our first lap of Qualifying was right where we needed to be, but a very compromised outlap on the second run meant we couldn’t get the tyre in the right window.
"It looks like tomorrow will be a high-pace race and our long runs look okay, so hopefully we can make up some places."
Dave Robson was quick to pay homage to those that helped get the car in a good place for Friday's action.
"A lot of good work was done overnight, both at the track and in Grove, and we were able to improve the car as a result," our Head of Vehicle Performance shared.
"Conditions were similar to yesterday but getting the tyres just in the right window whilst also managing the traffic remained very difficult throughout today.
"Logan unfortunately kissed the wall early in FP3. Although the contact was minor, it did enough damage to the front suspension to mean that he was unable to run again during the session.
"In this context, his opening lap in Q1 was very impressive but he was unable to really build on the strong start as Q1 progressed.
"Alex was able to build his confidence and refine his tyre preparation during Q1 but was unable to complete his final lap having lost a lot of time coming up behind the Ferrari; he was lucky to progress to Q2 based on an earlier lap.
"Once in Q2, he was able to find a good rhythm and adapt his tyre preparation to the ever-cooling track condition. After the red flag we opted to adjust his run plan to ensure a clear outlap for his final attempt.
"Despite not having the tyres in a perfect window for the start of that lap, he was able to set his best time of the event and finish in 12th.
"The tyres behave quite differently here in race conditions and so the drivers will need to use their experience from FP2 to find the right level of tyre management to race hard tomorrow.
"Both have an excellent opportunity to progress during the race and we will do everything we can to give them that chance."
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