"It's a good feeling to be at the end of the first ever Dakar stage in the Middle East, but it was a hard day. We had three punctures to stop and fix.
We had to stop every two or three kilometres to fix a rear wheel, very strange. We opened the road today and that wasn't easy, some tricky sections," said Al Attiyah, who has Frenchman Matthieu Baumel as his navigator.
Peterhansel, who is having his wife Andrea as co-driver on a new MINI John Cooper Works Buggy sounded upbeat after day one.
"We got through today's stage with no big mistakes or punctures. We had dunes, rocky sections and fast valleys today, a good mix of terrain," the Frenchman said.
Alonso plays it safe
Dakar debutant Alonso, trying to make history as the first F1 champion to win the event, avoided the early pitfalls and completed the drive from Jeddah to Al Wajh in his Toyota in 11th place.
"Good first day. Fun and challenging stage. Tomorrow more to come," tweeted the Spaniard, who has compatriot Marc Coma as his navigator.
Wake up call
The 2020 Dakar Rally has burst into life with an opening stage that gave competitors a stern wake up call - 319km against the clock. The first-ever Dakar stage to be held in Saudi Arabia represented a new start for all 342 vehicles entered into the rally.
As well as a few familiar faces taking early leads, we also have a crop of intriguing newcomers to keep an eye on. It was a pre-sunrise start for the Dakar convoy after the start podium in the city of Jeddah and more excitement is in store on day 2.