As the chequered flag fell on the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the team departed with a feeling of frustration, a feeling of what might have been.
On a weekend that was full of positives for the team, we ultimately left Jeddah with nothing to show for it.
However, we’re now back at Grove turning that frustration into motivation, working hard to ensure we make good strides on top of the progress we have already made in 2023.
Here are some fast facts from the weekend just gone.
Hard to pass
In just his second race in Formula 1, Logan Sargeant was thrown in at the deep end on Sunday’s Grand Prix, managing a set of ageing medium tyres after the Safety Car forced him onto a long second stint.
Logan’s exemplary racecraft saw him frustrate those around him, whilst the strong top speed of the FW45 also aided his cause.
LS2 clocked 336.7km/h through the speed trap, second only to Max Verstappen. He featured in the top five for maximum speed across both the finish line and through intermediate 1, whilst also notching the highest recorded speed through intermediate 2 (330.6 km/h).
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“The best it’s felt”
Alex Albon was running in P13 and knocking on the door of the points in Sunday’s race when an issue with his mechanical brake system ultimately forced him to retire.
However, when speaking to F1.com
post-race, he said: “It’s not been that tough, it’s a lot of positives to take from it. It’s the best the car has felt since my time driving at Williams, so that’s very positive.”
AA23’s best lap time of the weekend came in FP3, a 1:29.983. This is 1.39s quicker than his best lap time in the same session last season, and 0.50s faster than his 2022 qualifying lap.
And don’t forget, parts of the circuit were altered to slow cars down through certain sections.
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A tight pack
One thing that came out of both practice and qualifying is that the midfield is currently incredibly tight over one lap.
Take everything with a pinch of salt as we don’t know what modes everyone was running in practice, but FP3 saw a gap of 0.55s between Fernando Alonso in P3 and Logan in P16.
Up to speed
Logan has impressed many already this season and remains the leading rookie in the field after two races.
It hasn’t taken the 22-year-old long to get up to speed in motorsports top tier and he’s already on the coattails of his exceptionally quick teammate, Albono.
Across last weekend’s sessions, Sarge closed the gap from being 0.89s off of Alex in FP1 to 0.05s off in FP3.
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