Verstappen explains why Saudi Arabian GP will be closer than Bahrain

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez talked through how they think their Friday went at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen believes Friday practice showed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be more competitive than the season-opener in Bahrain.

Verstappen, who dominated the Bahrain GP weekend to win in Sakhir for the first time in his career, topped both practice sessions in Jeddah.

But, he thinks the long run pace in the most representative session, during FP2, proved it will be a close race on Sunday.

“I think we had a positive day,” said Verstappen. “But I think there’s still quite a few things we can do better.

“The long run, I think, is also fairly close to each other. But it’s more because of the managing of the tyres. They [the tyres] don’t really let you push around here at the moment.

“So with a low deg circuit I think the lap times are all very close. So it’s definitely not like Bahrain.”

Perez reveals mechanical problem

Sergio Perez was second and third in the two practice sessions as he looks to repeat his pole position from 2022 in Jeddah.

The Mexican revealed he had a problem with his car on Friday, but did not want to go into detail about it.

“We’ve had a bit of an issue with with the car mechanically, which hopefully we are able to sort it out for tomorrow,” said Perez. “That will bring us a bit more pace hopefully.

“At least we can have a better idea on where the car is. There was a bit of inconsistency and difficult to get to read the proper rhythm.

“But overall, we seem to be to be strong. The competition is there, as expected. I expect a few of the rival teams to step up tomorrow.”

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