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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