Experience Centre

Report: Alex and Nicky “happy with balance” after Friday practice in Jeddah

Published on
25 Mar 2022
Est. reading time
3 Min

Our F1 and F2 drivers complete the first day of running in Saudi Arabia

Our first day of running 2022-spec Formula One cars around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit has proved a valuable learning experience for both Nicholas Latifi and, in particular, Alex Albon.
It’s the Thai driver’s first visit to the world’s fastest street circuit, so he had to get to grips with the unforgiving 27-turn course quickly.
Completing 54 laps across the two sessions, he was pleased when we caught up with him after FP2.
“I think we’ve got a fairly decent handling car,” he said. “We’ve got a bit of work to do on the short runs, but on the long runs, the pace looks promising and looks positive for the weekend.
“There’s a bit of tidying up to do, it was my first day at this track so on my side I’ve got a bit of lap time on the table, hopefully, that will put us in a good place tomorrow.”
Across the garage, Nicky also spoke positively about the lessons he and the team had learned during Free Practice.
“We learned quite a bit about the car, which is good for the long-term objectives for the season,” he explained.
“I think we’re still struggling for pace, but nonetheless it’s been a very enjoyable day of driving as it’s a fun track, a very high-speed street circuit and it’s nice to be getting that feeling of adrenaline going again.
“We have some work tomorrow to find some more speed and we’ll see what we can do tonight.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, kept a keen eye on proceedings from the pit wall throughout both sessions – and suggested that the team are ready to think about setup choices for tomorrow, having picked up valuable data.
“The car has been working reasonably well today and both drivers are fairly happy with the balance,” he revealed.
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“We have a few decisions to make over downforce level and we have a bit of work to do to understand how best to minimise the porpoising, but otherwise we’ll be looking at routine setup choices.
“Today was Alex’s first time running at the Jeddah circuit but he was quickly up to speed and dialling his car in.
“There is more to come from the car and drivers tonight, and we’ll be looking to maximise performance across the rest of the weekend.”
Formula 2 is also in town this weekend and it was a mixed day for our two Driver Academy members in that category.
Roy Nissany qualified P13 for Sunday’s Feature Race, with Logan Sargeant back in P19 after crashing midway through the session. The American youngster was all good and able to walk away from the incident.

Formula 1 results:

NL6 - 1:33.529 (18th)
AA23 - 1:33.087 (17th)
NL6 - 1:31.814 (18th)
AA23 - 1:31.866 (19th)
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