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The Debrief by Aramco: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Fernando scores points whilst Lance retires early at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.


It was a day of mixed fortunes for the team on Saturday at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as Fernando scored more points to build on our double top ten finish in Bahrain, whilst Lance unfortunately had to retire following an accident.

Saturday round-up and reaction

  • Fernando started the race in P4, with Lance in P10. Both had a clean getaway as Lance moved past Yuki Tsunoda in the opening exchanges. Oscar Piastri would overtake Fernando soon after, however, demoting him to fifth place.

  • Lance’s race came to an early end, as he clipped the wall at turn 22 and hit the barriers. He reported he was OK before he climbed out of his stricken AMR24. The accident brought out the Safety Car, sparking a flurry of activity in the pitlane.

  • Fernando made his first and only pitstop during the Safety Car period, swapping his Medium tyres for a set of Hards. He narrowly avoided the Red Bull of Sergio Perez, with the Mexican penalised for an unsafe release.

  • Fernando came out from the pitlane in P7, as both Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton stayed out and therefore overtook him. The British pair would pit with just over ten laps to go to promote Fernando back to P5, which he held on to until the chequered flag.

  • Fernando showed strong pace throughout to earn fifth, finishing ahead of both Mercedes cars and the McLaren of Lando Norris. He had George Russell close behind him for much of the race, but he managed the gap to the Briton well to secure more good points at the start of this season.

F. AlonsoFL: 1:32.387
L. StrollFL: 1:35.560

#18 | Lance Stroll | Race

"A disappointing way to conclude a good weekend. I’d been pushing really hard in those opening laps – the cars around us were definitely faster and the tyres were already struggling. I was trying to build a gap and just clipped the wall.

"There are positives to take away, the team has scored points in both races and we feel there’s more pace to unlock in the car. I’m already looking ahead to Australia – it’s a race and a country that I really enjoy and I’m sure we can pick up the momentum again.”

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Race

"I'm very happy with finishing fifth in today's race. I think finishing in front of one McLaren, one Ferrari and both Mercedes is a great result for the team and probably around the maximum we can achieve at the moment.

"It was intense from start to finish and I had George [Russell] so close behind for most of the race. We went into the unknown a little bit with over 40 laps on the Hard set of tyres but we managed it all well and were able to make the one-stop strategy work. We will keep chasing for more performance and focus on the long term as it's a very long season ahead."

Mike Krack | Team Principal

"A strong drive from Fernando and 10 points for the team. Both drivers were under a lot of pressure at the start and had to push very hard for position. Unfortunately, a small mistake from Lance came with a high price. This is an unforgiving street circuit and all that matters in such situations is Lance is OK.

"A big thank-you to everyone in the team for their hard efforts – it has been a busy three weeks in the Middle East. Overall, we have made a positive start, have lots of data to take back to Silverstone, and are already focusing on the next race."

Next up

The first double header of the 2024 campaign has concluded and now there's a two week gap until round three of the championship in Melbourne, Australia. 


  • Fernando will start tomorrow's race from the second row of the grid in P4.

  • Lance secures a P10 grid slot as the team looks to score good points in the race and build on last weekend's double-points score in Bahrain.

  • Fernando finishes inside the top five in each of the three Qualifying sessions.

  • Lance finishes inside the top 10 throughout Qualifying with his best lap coming in Q1, the second-fastest time of the session.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Qualifying


"Q1 was very good – the car felt really positive. But then I think we might have had some issues in Q3 – we need to investigate it. The car felt a bit tricky and then I lost some time in the final sector – which is basically just straights – on my last Q3 lap.

"We need to look into why we weren't able to go any quicker after Q1 – we were much better at the start of Qualifying than at the end. We'll see what we can do tomorrow – it's going to be a long race, with a lot of degradation, so there will definitely be some opportunities."

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Qualifying


"It's a nice surprise again to have a strong Qualifying in Jeddah. We are very competitive in one lap and our car is responding very well in Qualifying. I enjoyed every lap out there tonight. On my final push lap in Q3 I managed to take a tow from Lewis [Hamilton] onto the main straight but maybe I lost a tenth of a second into Turn 1, so in the end it balanced out over the lap.

"It's a good result for Aston Martin but the real test is tomorrow. We have our feet on the ground and we will see where we are with our race pace."

Mike Krack | Team Principal

"A good Qualifying session this evening in Jeddah. Our target was to put both cars into Q3. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses around this circuit. We have achieved our target. A lot can happen here in the race. The most important consideration for tomorrow is to finish with both cars in points-scoring positions."


  • Lance and Fernando finish inside the top 10 in both practice sessions, with Fernando topping FP2.

  • Much of the team's running in FP1 took place on the Hard tyres before a switch to Softs towards the end of the session, while experience of the Medium tyres was gained in FP2 before a move to Softs for Qualifying simulations.

  • With air temperature close to 30°C and track temperature over 40°C, FP1 is unlikely to be representative of conditions faced in Qualifying and the race which will be held after sunset, making the data collected from FP2 even more valuable.

  • As part of team's continuous development programme throughout the season AMR24 features a new, circuit-specific rear wing and new front brake ducts.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Free Practice


"It's always a lot of fun to drive here. It's such a high-speed circuit and a great challenge.

"We had a positive day. We've shown good pace in both sessions and on different tyres, but it's only Free Practice and there are a lot of unknowns in terms of the programmes the other teams were running today.

"We'll look into the data tonight and aim to build on what's been a solid start to the weekend as we move towards Qualifying."

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Free Practice


"I felt good in the car today. It's always nice to be the fastest in any session, but it's only Free Practice so we will keep our feet on the ground and stay focused on ourselves.

"We don't know what the others have been doing in terms of engine modes and fuel loads, so we shouldn't read into the times too much, but it's still been a positive day.

"We've had no issues with the car, completed our programme, and continued to hone the setup of the AMR24 to extract more performance."

Arabian nights

Mixed fortunes in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix round-up
Aston Martin F1
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