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Nico Hulkenberg, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
Nico Hulkenberg, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Round 2 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with Friday practice at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit as teams prepared for Sunday’s 50-lap Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen opted to start on different tires to get things going in FP1 – the session commencing at 16:30 local time. Hulkenberg saw his VF-23 equipped with the Pirelli P Zero White hard rubber to start – a best time of 1:33.888 delivered on the compound. A switch to the Red softs netted the German a fastest lap of 1:31.552 to capture P15 on the timesheets.

Magnussen began his day sampling the Yellow medium rubber – the Dane recording a 1:33.164 lap before his switch to softs. A best effort of 1:31.566 placed him P16 directly behind his teammate. High-fuel runs concluded the opener for both Hulkenberg and Magnussen.

Second practice got underway at 20:00 local under the full glare of the spotlights that illuminate the expansive 6.175-kilometer (3.836-mile), 27-turn circuit seaside circuit. Hulkenberg ran a baseline stint on the White hard tire to begin with before bolting on a set of soft tires for a qualifying sim – a 1:30.181 lap subsequently securing P8 on the timing screen.

Magnussen started FP2 with a first taste of the medium rubber before he too switched to softs. A 1:30.820 lap landed Magnussen P15 on the timesheet. Both drivers wrapped the session with long runs on high-fuel – Magnussen running the softs and Hulkenberg returning to the medium compound.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team ran a total of 97 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 49 by Hulkenberg and 48 by Magnussen.

Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen:

“It was good, we got through FP1 and FP2 fine but there’s lot of work to do on Friday night as always. The field is tight again just like in Bahrain and there’s a lot to fight for tomorrow. It’s a very different track, different speeds, and it’s hard to compare but there’s new challenges. We’ll aim to do as good as we can of course and get into Q3, but the main focus is on Sunday.”


Nico Hulkenberg:

“We had a smooth Friday – no major incidents, situations, or problems. Like always, you learn about the car, the tires and where the balance is. Certainly, again over one lap I think we seem to be competitive and long runs could be a bit more challenging for us, so that’s where our focus is now. It’s all about pace, tire degradation and being quick in the right places – we need to analyze and consider it all to come up with the best strategy.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:

“It was a very solid FP1 and FP2 today. There were no issues at all, we went through the whole program, and completed 97 laps. We need to find a bit more performance but all in all everyone is quite happy. We need to find a little bit on Kevin’s car because he’s a little bit not so happy with his car, but I think we know what we have to look for.”

Today's Data

Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Friday March 17
Location: Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah
Layout: 6.175-kilometer (3.836-mile), 27-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Sunny / Clear
Drivers: Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg

Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:

Hulkenberg: 15th overall (1:31.552), 22 laps completed
Magnussen: 16th overall (1:31.566), 23 laps completed
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:29.617)

Free Practice 2 (FP2) Rundown:

Hulkenberg: 8th overall (1:30.181), 27 laps completed
Magnussen: 15th overall (1:30.820), 25 laps completed 
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:29.603)

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