Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test

Verstappen welcomes Jeddah changes: “It was definitely dangerous in some areas”

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has welcomed the alterations to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit ahead of this year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to improve safety at a venue which has seen several high-speed crashes since it was added to the calendar in 2021.

Visibility has been improved at several corners, kerbs have been changed and barriers have been moved back to allow more run-off space.

“The track changes that have been made are mainly for visibility, so hopefully it has improved things a bit for us drivers,” said Verstappen. “It was definitely dangerous in some areas.”

“It’s a really cool street circuit with quite a lot of grip,” added Verstappen, who won last year’s race at the track. “I always enjoy going back there to race.”

Esteban Ocon is also a fan of the layout. “It is a very fast and flowing street circuit and most of the lap is taken at full throttle, which is very exciting,” said the Alpine driver.

“There are some changes to the circuit this year to improve safety and visibility on corner entry, so we’ll definitely be offering some feedback on the changes on Friday after practice to see how effective they are.”

However Kevin Magnussen, who did not take part in the inaugural race and only drove the track for the first time last year, hopes the revisions haven’t altered the character of the circuit.

“I think it’s a great circuit,” he said. “Last year was my first time there and it’s a really fun and exciting track to drive, so I hope it hasn’t changed too much or at least not changed for the worse. I hope it’s still going to be a thrilling place to drive.

“It’s a circuit where confidence with the car counts for a lot – you need to be confident and happy with the car and happy to push because it’s a pretty flat-out track.”

Drivers will have their first chance to experience the revised circuit in real life when practice for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix begins on Friday.

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    Ida Wood
    Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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    19 comments on “Verstappen welcomes Jeddah changes: “It was definitely dangerous in some areas””

    1. Coventry Climax
      14th March 2023, 19:44

      Don’t quite understand Magnussen: If it’s a flat out track, what more to push is there?

      1. Flat out doesn’t mean going in a straight line necessarily.

      2. You obviously don’t understand racing judging by your comment history, perhaps DTS brought you here.

    2. some racing fan
      14th March 2023, 19:52

      I personally can’t stand this circuit. It’s way too dangerous. It makes some circuits from the 70s and early 80s seem safe- Mick’s crash last year was unnerving enough. I would like it if this layout was a permanent track with run off.

      1. @some racing fan
        Ironically, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit is semi-permanent or more permanent than temporary.
        Yes, modern safety has been tested to a greater extent than anywhere else, but nothing really to do with runoffs.

      2. Actually it’s Not so dangerous if you drive alone it was the sight on corners what made it dangerous as if a other driver was slow or crashed you couldn’t see that coming. The walls would guide with you if you crashed.

        1. Yeah, the visibility is / was the issue, and what makes it very unnerving. There really isn’t anywhere where cars arrive on top of a piece tarmac that they couldn’t see less than a tenth of a second ago. We obviously have blind corners on lots tracks, but you don’t take them at 190mph.

          1. Drivers need to take any/all yellow flags and lights seriously then, don’t they.

    3. with all the money saudi has, i wish they had a proper racing track with stadium and all that!

    4. It was definitely dangerous in some areas.

      The most dangerous part of the circuit is the Verstappen Brake Check

      1. Known hazard, I doubt anyone in that situation would be unaware of it’s likelihood now.

      2. Perhaps even more dangerous than that is any fool who drives straight into the back of him instead of overtaking.
        It is a race, after all. The general idea is to be in front.

      3. The drivers knows that if he need to give the position back but i don’t think that wil happen …

      4. Utterly unnecessary comment.
        Comments like this make for a toxic environment.

        1. Wouldn’t say it’s toxic. I mean, I don’t see you shouting toxic driving when Verstappen pulled off that shady move.

    5. Still a horrid circuit that has no place on the calendar and won’t be missed or remembered when it’s finally abandoned.

      Same is true of all of these modern car park tracks. None of them will be missed or remembered once they are abandoned as none of them bring anything of any value to the sport.

      1. None of them will be missed or remembered …. as none of them bring anything of any value to the sport.

        Same is true for many viewers who seem just a little bit too resistant to keep up with F1’s (constant) changes…..

    6. What a joy to drive in the F1 game. Disappointed the danger was the beauty of this track.

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