Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022

Hamilton ‘glad everyone’s safe and looking forward to getting out’ of Saudi Arabia

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton expressed relief the rest of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix passed without serious incident, following Friday’s missile attack near the circuit.

In brief

Hamilton: “I just want to go home”

Following a stressful and worrying Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where drivers stayed late into the night at the circuit on Friday night debating whether the event should go ahead, Hamilton said he was pleased to move on after finishing a disappointing 10th on Sunday.

“I’m so happy the weekend is done,” said the Mercedes driver. “I’m also just so happy that everyone’s safe, and just looking forward to getting out.”

Hamilton refused to be drawn on whether the race should go ahead next year, saying that for now: “I just want to go home.”

AlphaTauri reliability issues “very difficult” after successful test

After managing to finish eighth at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, despite being in extreme pain, Pierre Gasly said AlphaTauri’s recent reliability problems were a surprise to the team after relatively smooth testing.

“It’s been, reliability-wise, a very difficult two first weekends,” said Gasly. “The testing went so well, we were super-confident. We lost some points in Bahrain on my side and then now, today, Yuki [Tsunoda] didn’t qualify and he didn’t even take the start.

“So as a team, obviously it’s quite painful to see that. But I’m confident within the team to find a solution. We’ve been very reliable last year and the past few years, but it’s been quite tough for these first two weekends.”

Daruvala surprised by podium after anticipating safety cars

Formula 2 ran its first ever session around Jeddah Corniche Circuit without any safety car or red flag periods during Sunday’s feature race. As most prior sessions had been heavily disrupted by periods of stoppage or neutralised racing, third-place driver Jehan Daruvala said he was surprised to have been able to take to the podium from starting 14th without any.

“No, honestly I didn’t think so,” Daruvala said when asked if he’d believed the podium was possible without disruptions. “There were a lot of quick cars in front, so I thought I can just try to move forward as fast I can.

“We thought there were going to be a lot of crashes and safety cars, so [the plan was] to survive to the end,” Daruvala continued. “There was literally none so it makes it even more satisfying that in a race without any incidents and safety cars, I still managed to come from 14th to third so definitely a lot of positives to take and we can build on from here.”

Formula 2 drivers penalised for two unsafe releases, gaining an advantage off-track

Liam Lawson and Clement Novalak have been penalised after the feature race for unsafe releases, being issued fines to be paid by their respective teams. Carlin racked up a £833 (€1000) bill for failing to correctly attach all of Lawson’s wheels before he left the pit box, being forced to stop at the end of the pit lane and retire from the race. MP Motorsport received a fine of £416 (€500) for releasing Novalak into the path of Frederik Vesti as cars went out to the grid before the race.

Ralph Boschung was given a post-race five-second time penalty and one penalty point on his license for cutting the corner at turn two and gaining a lasting advantage, though he kept his 15th-place finish.

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Comment of the day

After F1 promised to put more consideration into the ‘suitability’ of the venues it picks, Bernasaurus says F1 is loading itself with responsibility for social change in venues like Saudi Arabia by using the idea to justify taking event fees there.

Obviously it is not F1’s place to put values onto people. Nor change any. But safety is a thing that anyone who watches, participates or travels with F1 should expect. And Jeddah hasn’t done that, on numerous fronts.

If F1 wanted to be a mostly Western Europe, US, Australia, Japan series it could be. The reason it is not because Liberty want people to ‘better themselves’ or in the words of Toto “But for here, within their culture, these things happen here.”

It’s because of profits. It isn’t worth it. It’s not the responsibility of F1 or any sport to change culture or social ideology. Leave that to wars and religious differences, and territorial claims.

It’s not an idea that is making anyone any happier. Obviously be open to another grand prix in the future, but not under these circumstances. If Liberty are clear in that message, they’d do themselves a lot of favours.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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25 comments on “Hamilton ‘glad everyone’s safe and looking forward to getting out’ of Saudi Arabia”

  1. RandomMallard
    28th March 2022, 0:20

    Daruvala went a bit under the radar for me tbh. Possibly because he made all his moves I the few laps I had to miss to get lunch, I don’t know? But very strong.

    And very much agree with Hamilton. As much as I enjoyed yesterday’s race, I don’t want to return to Jeddah. The circuit is a serious injury waiting to happen at best and a death trap at worst, and the geopolitical climate in SA and in Jeddah is not suitable for an F1 race in my opinion. I’m just glad that everyone has got through the weekend alive and without serious injury.

    1. He made most of his over overtakes in opening laps to reach P9 and then made an early pit stop stop to get undercut on other drivers(medium runners) to reach P3.

  2. Thankfully, nothing happened during the race cause these events tend to “attract crazy things”, to avoid saying the exact phrase, like what happened a few years ago in Paris when France and Germany were playing a UEFA match I think? They just had to design a superb driving track (excluding safety standards) there… Why could not this track be like in Germany? Or Malaysia? Or Africa? Somewhere else. If it’s a track like Sochi or Valencia then fine let’s drop it because it’s not so fun to drive and boring.

  3. No doubt replays were poorly timed, they think its still 2021, also the camera work is the same nonsense, too close and too jerky and the new “mobile” graphics reduce the viewing area by 30%. Watching f1 is like listening to the radio and the time sheets.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      28th March 2022, 11:00

      On top of that, they seem to have developed a habit of cutting from an overtaking manoeuvre to show the exit of the corner for a second or two until we see who has come out in front. I don’t understand why – surely it’s better to see the whole of the move rather than just the outcome?

      1. On F1TV Will Buxtons “we dont want to see that!” In regards to some fans during the LEC VER battle made me chuckle in agreement.

        Sidenote: Buxton’s “Get out of the pitlane dude” comment during VSC also made me chuckle. It was so genuine. Not commentatoresque, if you know what I mean.

  4. I saw elsewhere that Max apparently told Dutch reporters yesterday that he had things to say about racing in Saudi Arabia, The circuit & what happened Friday night but wasn’t able to talk about it and that the truth would come out eventually.

    1. The Dolphins
      28th March 2022, 2:52

      Unless he’s revealing that the GPDA is unanimous in not returning to SA I don’t think we need to hear it. It’s pretty obvious from the comments that have come out already that the entire F1 circus was effectively held hostage by the government. No doubt this will make a dramatic episode of Drive to Survive.

      1. The threat to prevent the drivers leaving the country was disgraceful, plain blackmail and if the FIA had any guts it would boycott the event. Missiles, dangerous track, human rights abusers – this is a farce of a venue.
        And Simon Lazenby on Sky describing the country as “progressive” almost took my breath away. What a prat.

        1. Ever think that the TV broadcasts were aimed as much at placating the Saudi government as broadcasting the truth?

          Take everything said by anyone while on Saudi soil with a very large pinch of salt.

      2. Has that threat been confirmed by anyone? Last i heard it was just rumor. I believe it, but would like to hear something official instead of the hearsay and rumor that i’ve been seeing.

    2. When you involve yourselves with folks who have a different and extreme view on society you can’t but be humbled when they show their true face. The irony is that “moral” governments are so in love with them and are ready to overlook these little things for material gain.

      1. Speaking of material gain, I read that the contract to race in Saudi is for 10 years at a cost of $900m. A lot of things get ‘overlooked’ when there’s that amount of money involved. But greed must prevail…..

  5. And the cuts to the crowd while racing is happening. We don’t need that. I couldn’t hate that more.

    I’ve never understood why it’s a thing, why do we need to see people’s reaction. I like that they are having a good time, it’s great to.know, but I switched on to watch a race, not a reaction video on YouTube…

    1. I did enjoy the one of the Hamilton fan aghast when he crossed the line to not progress to Q2. Other than that, those shots were pointless. And at least at the end of Q3 it’s not like missing racing action.

      1. Always wondered why they do that given that in all the years of going to races I’ve never felt the need to look at the crowd following an incident or other occurrence. or know anyone who does.
        Never realised some like yourself actually get joy from it.

      2. @tommy-c I think that was Amy Williams, the gold skeleton medallist. Or a very close look-alike.

  6. SC line 2 is always where the pit exit line ends (likewise, SC1 locates where the pit entry line begins), so moving that line would require shortening or lengthening the exit line. Timing line on pit exit? Weird.

    How funny Latifi has caused two SCs, one that eventually benefitted an RBR driver (albeit through RD help) & another that hampered an RBR driver.

    I don’t feel the race had too many replays or more than usual.

    I like the Haas Insta post.

    COTD has a valid point.

  7. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    28th March 2022, 9:26

    I know hapless pay drivers have always been a thing but it feels like they’re really affecting race outcomes more these days with hopeless clumsy incidents.

  8. I was screaming at the tv while those replays were happening. It was infuriating! The director seemed to think it was ok to spend the majority of the lap showing the replays and slow mo crowd shots of the action at the end of the previous lap, cutting to the live action just before the end of the current lap. So we missed watching the cars set up for the next battle.

    In F1 the action isn’t just what happens at the point of the overtake attempt, it can take a whole lap to set up so watching the cars during the full lap is key to seeing all that unfold.

    F1.. There’s plenty of time for replays after the race or on your social media content. Please let us see more live action.

    Same goes for cutting away from an on track battle to show a midfielder trundling down the pit lane.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      28th March 2022, 11:04

      @oweng I was shouting at the TV too. By the time the footage went back to the action I’d lost track of which corner they were at and where they were on the track so you couldn’t even get excited and anticipation about when the DRS was coming up. It was like watching highlights. Then overuse of the helmet cam when you needed proper TV camera views to look at the closing speeds and distances. I like the helmet cam as a novelty or for relays but not for live action you can barely see anything.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      28th March 2022, 11:08

      Same – multiple times I shouted at the TV to get back to the action. They’d show the DRS straights in the 3rd and 1st sector and then spend the rest of the lap showing replays so you never knew if Verstappen was in DRS range until they got back to the 3rd sector and cut to the live action.

      The replays and cuts to the crowd always annoy me but it seemed even worse than normal this week.

    3. So glad it wasn’t just me. My wife must have thought I was nuts.


Comments are closed.