Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer
OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.
Saudi Arabia was clear with its intentions for its first Formula 1 race. It looked to make a statement by delivering a grandiose event, an approach that extended to the track layout and design. Marketed as F1’s fastest and longest street track at a shade under four miles, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit drew comparisons to Baku before a car even hit the track. It boasted 27 corners, a number of high-speed sections and only three big braking points.
The feedback was initially positive. Valtteri Bottas got straight over the radio to Mercedes in FP1 to say, “F***, this track is cool”, and the risk and reward on offer was clear in qualifying when Max Verstappen pushed too hard at the final corner.
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