A new circuit brings a new challenge and it was an encouraging start to the weekend in Qatar as both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri had drivers in the top three throughout Friday.
On our first visit to the Losail International Circuit north of Doha, FP1 took place in the afternoon sunshine that provides less representative conditions for the rest of the weekend as qualifying and the race takes place after sunset. It did allow the drivers to get used to the new venue, however, with plenty of sighter laps and exploring track limits.
And it was Max who got up to speed the quickest as he ended the session fastest overall, leading Pierre in a Honda-powered one-two by just over 0.4s. Yuki also started strongly by setting the fifth fastest time of the opening session, with Sergio ensuring all four cars were in the top ten as he ended up eighth.
In FP2, it was Pierre in second place once again as his strong start to the weekend continued, this time just over 0.2s off the fastest lap. Max was a little over 0.1s further back in third, with Yuki half a second off the pace in seventh, while Sergio made it two sessions in a row in eighth place.
With plenty of data to work through from the first running on a new track, we will spend the time between now and FP3 analysing everything we have gathered to ensure the optimal operation of the PU ahead of qualifying.