5 Formula 1

Fernando Alonso was the fastest driver on Thursday. © APA/afp / GIUSEPPE CACACE

Alonso with best training time – Red Bull fires employee

Veteran Fernando Alonso set the fastest time of the day in the Aston Martin in the first two Formula 1 training sessions for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The 42-year-old Spaniard set the fastest lap on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in the second training session on Thursday in 1:28,827 minutes. World champion Max Verstappen, the dominant opening winner in Bahrain, had to be content with third place in the Red Bull (+0,331 seconds), still behind Mercedes driver George Russell (+0,230).

Alonso had already taken second place in the first training session on the high-speed track. Verstappen, who had complained about the engine in the meantime, won this. The best Ferrari in the second training session, which started ten minutes late due to a loose drain cover in the pit lane, was Charles Leclerc in fourth place (+0,353), directly ahead of Sergio Perez (+0,473) in the second Red Bull. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (8th ./+0,677) is threatened with a penalty after an interference from Logan Sargeant in the Williams.

Max Verstappen remains the favorite. © APA/afp / GIUSEPPE CACACE

The qualifying takes place on Friday (18.00 p.m.), the second of 24 races will take place on a Saturday (18.00 p.m.), as in Bahrain. The reason for this is the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Red Bull is trading

Before the second training session, it was also announced that the woman who accused Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner of cross-border behavior had been suspended from Red Bull Racing. This was reported by several media outlets, including the BBC and the PA news agency, on Thursday. The reason for this step is not known and an official statement is not yet available. Horner has always denied the employee's allegations and was exonerated through an internal investigation.

Christian Horner in Jeddah. © APA/afp / GIUSEPPE CACACE

The team has not yet revealed the woman's name or details of the allegations, although alleged evidence was sent anonymously to media and key Formula 1 figures last week. According to other media reports, the woman who worked as Horner's personal assistant is said to be preparing a lawsuit in an English court.


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