The second qualifying session of the 2023 Formula 1 season took place at the Jeddah Corniche circuit and once again showed us a Red Bull car in great shape. In fact, it was Sergio Perez who secured the Pole Position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The Mexican driver is on his second consecutive pole at the Saudi track, a circuit he seems to like a lot. Fernando Alonso and George Russell will start behind him after Charles Leclerc was relegated to 12th position due to the replacement of the control unit.
Let’s find out which drivers were the fastest in the different areas of the track with this micro-sector analysis of the Saudi Arabian GP qualifying.
The Jeddah track is divided into 25 micro-sectors and Red Bull set the best time in 11 of them. Immediately behind we have respectively Aston Martin and Ferrari with 8 and 3 micro-sectors. One micro-sector each for Mercedes, Alpine and McLaren.
Poleman Sergio Perez was the best in all 11 micro-sectors secured by Red Bull (due to the absence of Max Verstappen who was eliminated in Q2 following a technical failure on his Red Bull RB19 car). Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll share those of Aston Marin with four each while for Scuderia Ferrari it is only Charles Leclerc who has recorded the best times. The last ones left were divided by George Russell, Esteban Ocon and Oscar Piastri, the latter catching the eye with a great performance in qualifying.
If we analyze the data more specifically, we find a very strong Red Bull at the end of the fast straights. Here in Jeddah it seems that the RB19 has returned to being the reference also in terms of top speeds. Aston Martin on the other hand seems to be very strong in acceleration. In fact, let’s see how Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll are the best out of the slow corners. This shows excellent traction which allows the AMR23 to discharge all the power of the Mercedes engine to the ground.
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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc managed to put together a great lap despite only being the fastest in 3 micro-sectors. The Monegasque confirms his strength under braking as seen in the very treacherous braking into the last corner, where, however, the rookie Oscar Piastri is the best in the corner. Russell and Ocon also did well, interpreting the straight between turns 4 and 7 at their best, managing to bring a lot of speed.
We just have to wait for Sunday’s race to see who will have the upper hand in a Grand Prix that promises to be spectacular. In fact, we will have Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen that will have to fight their way through the field, while Sergio Perez who will try to repeat last year’s success but of course the rest will not stand by and watch.
Fernando Alonso was excellent on corner exit, but was held back by the high drag of the Aston Martin on the long straights
The Ferrari SF-23 car looked more competitive, battling with the Red Bull RB19 in many high-speed corners of the Jeddah Corniche circuit.
The Red Bull RB18 car was simply unreachable, due to their extremely low drag
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