Fernando Alonso gives Aston Martin cautious optimism for Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso offered a cautiously optimistic assessment of the team's chances at the upcoming Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, after another impressive practice session.

Following their podium finish at the Bahrain opener, the team looked set to build on their strong start to the F1 season.

Alonso split the Red Bull drivers in FP2 on Friday, but said it was still too early to predict where they sit in the pecking order. "You never know until we go to qualifying," he said. "But so far, so good - it's another good start."

Alonso's teammate, Lance Stroll, also acknowledged the tight competition. "It looks pretty tight. Alpine look quick, so I think it's going to be close - it was a surprise to see them so quick. The Ferraris, I'm sure, will be there tomorrow, and even the Mercedes looks pretty good, so we'll see."

When asked about his wrist and feet injury recovery after his pre-season training crash, Stroll said: "Yeah, it felt okay. Still a bit of pain, but nothing bad."

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit promises to be a thrilling challenge, with high speeds and a mix of tight corners and flowing curves. The circuit's unique layout has been a topic of discussion, with drivers calling it one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar.

Despite the challenge, Alonso appeared confident in the AMR23's performance, and stated: "We tested what we wanted to test in the car. I think it's still not an ideal balance, so we still need to chase a little bit of grip tonight."

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