Jeddah Formula 1 circuit construction, 2021

Jeddah’s fresh track surface will make first event “very complicated” – Gasly

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Pierre Gasly believes the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be “very complicated” to drive due to a lack of grip offered by the new surface.

In brief

Jeddah surface will be “very complicated” – Gasly

AlphaTauri driver Gasly expects F1 drivers will have a challenging time around the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit at this weekend’s first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“Judging from what I saw on the simulator, Saudi will be extremely quick, with a large number of very high-speed corners, some of them blind,” said Gasly.

“I think it’s going to be very complicated from a driving point of view and there will be the extra challenge of the track surface being completely new. No cars have ever raced on it, there will be no rubber down and probably some oil will still be coming out of the Tarmac, which is what normally happens at a new circuit. So, we are looking at a street circuit with quite low grip, which is a new challenge as no one has any data from the track.”

Mazepin looking forward to developing car for the first time

Nikita Mazepin says he is looking forward to playing an active role in helping to develop a car throughout a season for the first time in his racing career in 2022.

Mazepin will rejoin Mick Schumacher at Haas for the 2022 F1 season. After a challenging rookie campaign where Haas chose not to develop their 2021 car to dedicate resources towards the 2022 season, Mazepin says he is excited to be able to have an influence over how next year’s car will develop.

“To actually be in the mix in Formula 1, to have a car where you actually have some influence on improving during the year and focusing on maintaining and improving the performance, perhaps, through the first part of the season and towards the second is a challenge that I have never been able to feel in other categories,” said Mazepin.

“It’s something that I’m very happy to be able to have that chance.”

De Vries ‘wins’ mock Formula E test race

As pre-season testing for Formula E continued at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Antonio Felix da Costa was fastest in the morning session for Techeetah, before Stoffel Vandoorne put Mercedes on top of the times in the afternoon.

To help orient teams and drivers to the upcoming season’s new added time rules in the event of a safety car during a race, a simulated race was held which saw Nyck de Vries take the chequered flag first, ahead of team mate Vandoorne.

Alice Powell took part in the day’s running for Envision for the first time as part of her role as development driver for the team.

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Comment of the day

Reader @f1frog has an interesting statistical observation heading into the penultimate race of this dramatic season.

If Lewis Hamilton wins and gets fastest lap in Jeddah, and Max Verstappen finishes second, the two title contenders will go into the final round on equal points for the first time since 1974 (Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni).

Reason enough to move the title finale back to Interlagos instead of Yas Marina from next season.
@f1frog

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 51 comments on “Jeddah’s fresh track surface will make first event “very complicated” – Gasly”

    1. Could be similar to Turkey 2020. Mercedes struggled at Baku because of front tyre warm up. Baku is the most extreme circuit in which front tyres are almost tyre wear proof. Circuit is more of an issue most likely for grip, rather than tyre warm up. Simulators show lots of fast corners at Jeddah. Singapore is a similar case to Baku, but at Singapore teams run highest downforce, which is why normally in qualifying, tyres are cooked at the start of S3, and of course Singapore is well hot country. Track surface is likely to be the issue for this weekend.

    2. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
      1st December 2021, 0:45

      So no one batting an eyelid that Lando is moving to Monaco?

      There were a lot of keyboard buttons pushed over Hamilton living there…

      1. One guy is white and the other isn’t. Same as it ever was and will be.

        1. Here we go

          1. Because it’s true.

            1. No, its a question of profile. He moved to Monaco after 5 years of F1 after arriving and fighting with the defending champ in his first year, being caught up in a spy scandal, losing in tragic circumstances. Second year winning the title on the last corner, being in the hunt for the next few years. Even someone who had never watched f1 knew exactly who he was. And by that time the stories of “highest paid” brit sportsman had started to appear, as had some of his outspoken nature. All this pushed his profile still further. So when he moved, everyone knew about it. and the media wanted you to know and to have an opinion, for clicks. It was a media circus. Lando by comparison hasnt had any of this exposure. Hes been here less than ham had been, hes only recently got to fight for a couple of wins, and ive heard no stories of “record-breaking” wages. All this has had the story mostly ignored in comparison to 2012. But you continue to be a Race Fanatic, and not the kind with wheels.

      2. I personally don’t care where they live but I believe the issue with Hamilton is he was that he was highlighting issues that the UK government should address whilst not contributing tax. I think it’s good that he highlights problems but it does open him up to criticism.

        1. @petebaldwin Hamilton is consistently in the top 5000 tax payers in the UK (or the top 0.01%) but yes, let’s keep up this charade that he pays no tax.

        2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          1st December 2021, 6:50

          @petebaldwin He wasn’t criticised for having an opinion, but for dodging tax. No other driver has been hauled over the coals for that.

          1. Yep – by highlighting issues, it opens you up to criticism when you are implicated in avoiding tax. There were the accusations relating to his private jet and the scheme created to avoid paying tax on it.

            https://www.theguardian.com/news/ng-interactive/2017/nov/11/paradise-papers-whos-who-leak-offshore-secrets

            I know some feel the need to jump to Lewis’ defence every time his name is mentioned but I’m not criticising him here – simply explaining why he was criticised more heavily than Lando will be.

            1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
              1st December 2021, 11:19

              @petebaldwin Yes he was rightly criticised over the private jet, but that happened years after the criticism began. If I recall correctly he was absolutely castigated in 2008 simply for moving to Monaco, just as Button and DC had done before him, without any controversy. In fact almost every successful British driver has moved to a lower tax jurisdiction, at least as far back as Jackie Stewart.

              I do think when Hamilton does criticise something about Britain and lot of people instinctively object that he isn’t more grateful for the opportunity this country gave him. That sort of attitude is skirting dangerously close to racism, just how English does he have to be before he’s allowed to express an opinion on the country of his birth?

        3. And yet he was actually contributing tax then and still does now. It was/is pure racism.

          1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
            1st December 2021, 11:11

            Don’t let the facts ruin a good rant.

      3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        1st December 2021, 11:09

        Goes with the territory. Get passed a certain earnings limit and finding a tax haven is par for the course.

        There have been tax avoidance systems in place over the years that got found out and but nothing as glamorous as moving to Monaco.

    3. In Turkey this year they did some pressure washing to the surface to increase the grip. I presume even without the timeline restrictions that wouldn’t be possible given the surface is so recently paved?

      1. @The Dolphins Effectively yes.

    4. But verstappen did check on ham at Monza. He saw him pulsing the throttle trying to rejoin the race and so he gfto of the general vicinity with that rocking red bull and reversing Merc. That guys ruined his pieces impartiality with that one attempt at revisionism.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        1st December 2021, 6:55

        Then it’s more correct to agree that he didn’t check on him, but because he didn’t need to.

        1. I saw Max looking at Lewis but Lewis was reversing so max (even if he wanted) couldn’t check on Lewis but he saw Lewis was alright otherwise he couldn’t reverse so much.

    5. Who is Matthew Syed and why is he so angry? Pointing out non-facts. Touching a rear wing is cheating now? Go figure…

      1. And objecting to being shunted out of a race is “hypocrisy?” But I suppose it helps play into a narrative.

        1. Verstappen didnt make it to shunt Hamilton out of Brazil, cause Hamiltom was smart enough to avoid him when he was pushed far of the track.

      2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        1st December 2021, 7:12

        @fer-no65 quoting the article: “his breach of the rules by touching the Mercedes car in Brazil” is absolutely correct, so don’t put words in his mouth. Matthew Syed is an Olympian, a journalist, broadcaster and author. If you’re in the UK you can listen to his series Sideways on BBC radio player, he’s an admirable person.

        1. Do know him, never heard off.
          But with Hamilton he gets Hypocrisy and Hollywood, so I understand his preference.

        2. But he is lying. If you lie you kind of diminish your overall message and run the risk people wont take you seriously anymore. Max did check on Lewis. He was switching gears, even into reverse.. that means some kind of active conscience. So the statement is propaganda and a lie and moreover he gave away his coloring and preference making all he says subjective and worthless. Unless you read it as an opinion article. In that case; fine you feel that way. I feel exactly the other way around about Lewis.

        3. @slightlycrusty – He stated that Verstappen’s behaviour crossed boundaries because he was unwilling to check on Hamilton’s condition in Italy – whilst Hamilton was mashing the accelerator and spinning his wheels to try and get off of his car.

          That’s not putting words in his mouth, that’s what he said. Above you said “he didn’t check on him because he didn’t need to.”

          Would you say therefore that Max’s behaviour crossed a boundary by not checking on Hamilton or would you say Syed is wrong?

          1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            1st December 2021, 11:29

            @petebaldwin as I indicated in another post, I think Syed is factually correct about ‘not checking’, but should not have raised it as an objection because Hamilton clearly didn’t need checking. It seems a very small thing to quibble over.

            I would have preferred him to point out that Verstappen speared into Hamilton despite having no right to expect to be given space, and seemed pleased with the outcome on the radio. That was a deliberate act of cheating which he probably felt was payback for Silverstone, having concocted the narrative that Hamilton had deliberately taken him out in the earlier race. For me, that act alone will tarnish the championship should Verstappen win it.

        4. @slightlycrusty

          Matthew Syed is an Olympian, a journalist, broadcaster and author

          He also has a less successful career as a politician… So what ? Does that mean he is right. It’s about the views and arguments you bring on the table not the CV. For example Helmut Marko have even a more brilliant CV but most of the times you can’t take him seriously.

          1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            1st December 2021, 11:57

            @tifoso1989 I was responding to the question “who is…”

    6. Got censored again. Let me rephrase: The Times (mind you: the UK times :-)) article is an opinion piece in line with what you would expect at this stage of the championship. I will take straight, no nonsense authenticity anytime over lying, dramatizing & whining while you’ve been the most privileged and lucky man in history. But thats just my opinion

      1. It does get the clicks though.
        As much as many complain about DTS to be too fake, this website has long lost it’s shine and is now mostly a click and traffic creator.
        The week(s) between races are now typically filled with one Dutch article against Hamilton and one (or more) British article against Verstappen, completed with irrelevant Social Media posts (many from the site itself).

        And then there is so much more and interesting stuff which could’ve made the round-up; the round-up which it used to be; the round-up which gave us the interesting articles from 1000’s of publications from all around the world.

        1. Yes, its a pity. Like Mercedes and Lewis the hint of competition didnt exactly bring out the best in people. In the past I went to this site to learn stuff and see different angles. Nowadays most are the followers of the media propaganda and even get personal. Why on earth would you get personal unless you run out arguments? But due to Netflix more and more US sites become knowledgable on F1 and they portrait such a different picture of this season. So does the vast majority of the continental press.

          1. Agree, but I have to point out the very suggestive headlines Keith often use and stared the topic in a toxic direction.
            A joke by ver is used quote and as a trigger for all kind of verbal abuse of Verstappen.
            I do not mind a British site favouring a British driver, but why at the cost of another driver.

            1. I wondered about that too. Maybe its a cultural thing in sports. Maybe the Brits have a more ‘all is allowed in love and war’ kind of attitude towards sports. Like when playing tennis, cheering when your opponent makes an unforced error. The mental trickery we saw earlier from Lewis with Nico. I am more an olympics kind of sports fan. Athletes being authentic, sharing their struggles, being open on what they do and appreciating other talent since they know the effort it takes to get there and recognizing that in the other. Maybe the difference is money, the higher the pay the less authenticity and transparency?

        2. And then there is so much more and interesting stuff which could’ve made the round-up; the round-up which it used to be

          Why don’t you and Mayrton start your own site and put all this wonderful stuff you’re talking about? Probably get erikje as a contributor as well? I’m sure you’d do a fine job.

          1. It’s not that difficult. Just have the round up present international content as well

    7. Yes, track surface will probably complicate things.

      I’m slightly surprised Saudi will do what no other Middle Eastern location has done, nor even Japan, China, South Korea, etc.

      Norris’ Monaco move in the off-season means country residencies for next season’s regular drivers will be as follows:
      Mercedes: Monaco
      RBR: VER: Monaco, PER: Mexico
      Ferrari: LEC: Monaco, SAI: Italy
      Mclaren: Monaco
      Alpine: ALO: Switzerland, OCO: France (my most recent knowledge)
      AT: Italy
      AM: Switzerland
      Williams: LAT: England, ALB: Monaco
      AR: BOT: Monaco, ZHO: England, I assume
      Haas: SCH: Switzerland, MAZ: England same as with ZHO

      COTD’s statistical note is an invalid argument for ending a season at the Interlagos circuit instead of YMC.

      1. @jerejj I worded it badly. I meant that we could have an almost unprecedentedly close title finale, and as Interlagos is a far better track for excitement it is a shame that we will not be having the finale there, as that would most likely make for an even more exciting finale, so that should be changed for next year. I just think a 2008/2012-like final race is far less likely to happen at Abu Dhabi.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          1st December 2021, 11:05

          Now we know what we know, RBR fans would be apoplectic at having Brazil as the final race.

    8. The track is actually finished, right?

      1. Track is finished i think they are still doing some buildings near the track (that was last week) But the surface is new so in the beginning very slippery.

      2. Sort of, I guess @dang. Enough to be deemed to be ok – throwing boatloads of money at things does that.
        Seems the tarmac and essential safety features are in, the garages will probably be still worked on to get useable, and the VIP areas and grandstands who knows what state they will be in (somewhat useable if you ignore the odd unfinished spots here and there, I guess).

      3. @dang Last Thursday based on info beforehand.

    9. From the video game videos I think the runoff is inadequate for those 300kph to hairpin corners. And losing the the car in those high speed bends will mean a huge impact. The track kind of reminds me of the CART surfers paradise course but without the chicanes, ie kind of scary.

      1. In vehement agreement here. A high speed track, barely finished (?) with no run-offs, new (slippery) asphalt, all drivers seeking tows, and a possible title clinching race. The recipe for a tragedy is in front of us. Terrible risk management practices, but, and once again, money talks.

        1. My thoughts exactly. Fast, blind corners, no run-off and a slippery surface. Chances of a multi-car pile-up are high as anywhere on the calendar.

      2. It’s certainly a recipe for red flags.

    10. @slightlycrusty there’s a big difference between breaching a rule and cheating. Failling to stop at a weight bridge is a breach of the rules. Is it cheating? not really.

      Cheating is getting an advantage out of something illegaly. I wonder what kind of advantage Max (or all the others, it’s been a common practice, the stewards even said so) got by touching another car’s wing.

      1. @fer-no65

        Indeed. Mercedes and RB are both constantly checking out each other’s cars for legality and to figure out where the performance comes from. Max did so a little more overtly than most, but in a completely precedented way, as Vettel has done so many a time. Yet Vettel wasn’t accused of cheating.

    11. @slightlycrusty forget my previous comments. I apologise, but I swear the article said “cheating” this morning, not “breaching the rules”…

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        2nd December 2021, 7:09

        @fer-no65 Thanks, it’s entirely possible that the wording was changed later in the morning, but that would have been a bit out of character for Matthew Syed, who is usually quite measured.

    Comments are closed.