Formula One world champion Max Verstappen shrugged off his stomach ache and picked up where he left off to lead Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez to a top two finish in first practice for the Saudi Grand Prix on Friday.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who finished third in the opening round on March 5 in Bahrain behind Verstappen and Perez, was once again the best of the rest.

Last year’s race winner, Dutchman Verstappen, who postponed his arrival to Saudi Arabia to recover from stomach pain, took part in the tests directly and recorded the fastest lap time of one minute and 29.617 seconds.

Perez was 0.483 seconds slower while double world champion Alonso was 0.698 seconds slower than Verstappen. Canadian Lance Stroll, Alonso’s team mate, who is still recovering from broken wrists and a toe in a major pre-season crash, finished fourth.

The Mercedes duo, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, came fifth and sixth, respectively, and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished seventh.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who will drop 10 places at the start the day after tomorrow, Sunday, because he was penalized as a result of a change in the components of the power unit, came in eleventh place.

By admin