Charles Leclerc put in the fastest time in FP2 after leading the first session too, despite ending his session being ended early by clipping the wall with his left front tyre.
Max Verstappen was just 0.1sec off the Ferrari, albeit on the medium tyre rather than the soft-shod Scuderia, whilst both Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez were just 0.2sec off the ultimate pace.
Lewis Hamilton managed to get his Mercedes up to fifth, 0.4sec off the ultimate pace, with team-mate George Russell a further tenth off.
Read our full practice round-up below.
A 1min 33.021sec then meant that Sergio Perez leapt to the top of the monitors, Red Bull looking to amend for last week’s double DNF. Meanwhile both Ferraris were still sat in the garage, the Scuderia appearing cool proceeding its winning start to the season.
Verstappen then improved with a time 1.12sec quicker, whilst Hamilton inserted himself into second, albeit just over a second off the Dutchman and on the soft tyre.
Perez then set a 1min 32.689sec to go second as Magnussen climbed from his car whilst the team looked to remedy a hydraulic leak.
AlphaTauri looked to have reasonable pace in Bahrain, continuing it in Saudi as Tsunoda went second, albeit a second of Verstappen, with Pierre Gasly 0.2sec further back.
Tsunoda improved with a 1min 31.710sec, before a red flag was then brought out on 18 minutes – the fifty-metre mark become loose at the first corner and was struck by Lando Norris, strewing debris across the outside of the turn.
Cars headed out eight minutes later when was the circuit was clear, dust swirling as cars exited the pitlane. Come almost the half hour mark, neither Ferrari had still set a fast time, but this was remedied by Carlos Sainz who clocked a 1min 34.632sec on the hard compound, before Charles Leclerc put in a 1min 33.987sec.
More and more cars began to sample the soft tyres, with Daniel Ricciardo going seventh fastest with 1min 33.037sec, but was immediately pushed down as Leclerc – who earlier had a moment which sent him off track – became fifth-quickest, a 1min 32.454sec his time, still on the hardest compound.
Hamilton reported that his Mercedes was still porpoising as in Bahrain, his team-mate George Russell 10th at this point as a result of his 1min 32.839sec.
Leclerc then had another moment, but this didn’t prevent him going second in the order – 1min 31.470sec his effort.
Fellow Francophone Gasly then hit the wall as he went second, 0.4sec off Verstappen, as the Dutchman too had a high-speed wiggle, asking his team if the wind had picked up and commenting how difficult conditions had become.
With 15 minutes left, Verstappen still led from Gasly, Leclerc, Tsunoda, Perez, Ocon and Hamilton.
Carlos Sainz improved on his personal best in the first sector, but then found a moment of oversteer through the chicane which forced him to back out.
The Spaniard managed to elevate himself with a 1min 32.000sec to sixth on his next attempt, despite another inconsistent lap.
Nico Hülkenberg, stepping in again this weekend for Sebastian Vettel who has been affected by Covid, went 17th-fastest after logging a 1min 33.346sec.
A 1min 30.772sec though meant that Leclerc picked up where he left off as he hit first place, whilst Bottas looked handy with 1min 31.084sec in third.
0.116sec away was Verstappen in second, Sainz fourth in 0.367sec off and Gasly rounding out the top five, just over half a second off.
🏁 FP1 CLASSIFICATION 🏁
🔝 Leclerc followed by Verstappen… again 😅
🙌 Bottas and Alfa Romeo in P3
🤕 K-Mag w/ mechanical issue#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/pn9gchD7q0
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 25, 2022
The second practice session was delayed by 15 minutes as drivers spoke to FIA officials about a suspected terrorist attack on an Aramco oil facility 20km away from the circuit, with competitors worried about continuing on with the race weekend.
Once the meeting was complete, almost all cars headed out early as the second session began, and again it was Leclerc who began quickest, setting a 1min 30.216sec using the medium tyre.
On the same compound his team-mate Sainz was 1.166sec behind, with Tsunoda 1.4se off the Monegasque driver.
Valtteri Bottas again looked confident, his 1min 31.802sec putting him fourth early on, whilst Russell went fifth with a 1min 32.372sec.
Hamilton then radioed in he needed to use his higher seat to give him higher reliability, whilst Perez’s 1min 31.117.sec meant he was fourth
Hülkenberg put on the soft tyres to try the quicker compound, a 1min 31.615sec meaning he was now in 12th. The German radioed to his team that it “didn’t feel like the soft tyre felt this morning” as many drivers seemed to lack confidence on the same compound.
The German’s Aston Martin team-mate Stroll managed to go slightly quicker, 1.1sec off Leclerc – whose first lap time was still fastest – as the Silverstone team work to move on from a poor showing in Bahrain.
Verstappen then claimed top spot with a 1min 30.214sec on the medium compound, before Leclerc immediately went fastest again by just over 0.1sec.
By halfway through the session the whole field were on soft tyres – Russell improved to fifth by posting a 1min 30.664sec, before Hamilton then displaced his team-mate.
A double-yellow flag then came out at 27 minutes as Magnussen pulled over in Sector 2, the Haas again beset by reliability issues.
Once the green flag came out,both Ferraris the hit the wall, Leclerc slightly harder – reporting to his team that “my car is broken” slowly bring his F1-75 back to the pits. His session was over.
Drivers settled into longer runs, with Norris looking to help McLaren climb back up the order as he pounded round, whilst Verstappen and Perez both explored the durability of the mediums.
Ferrari then announced that Sainz wouldn’t be heading out either, the Scuderia’s running done for the day.
Latifi told his team that the rears of the mediums had gone after 14 laps, indicating tyre strategy could have a big role to play come Sunday.
With 90 seconds left Tsunoda reported that his turbo had gone, having to pull off the circuit and bring the session to an end, with Leclerc still fastest and Verstappen 0.1sec, the top four covered by 0.2sec.
FP2 Classification (60/60 mins)
Leclerc goes quickest, Verstappen not far behind#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/wbexNoEn49
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 25, 2022