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Jeddah changes not enough, say drivers

NEWS STORY
25/03/2022

Modifications at the Jeddah circuit following complaints from the drivers last December are not enough it is claimed as F1 revisits.

While the Jeddah Corniche Circuit drew the usual gushing - lovely to be here - praise last December, drivers were concerned by aspects of the track's safety.

Throughout the weekend, and following the race, which witnessed a number of incidents, drivers complained of a lack of visibility due to the number of 'blind corners'.

Ahead of F1's return just three months later, a number of changes have been made. However, other than the widening of the track at Turn 27, these mostly involve merely moving the safety barriers - and it's not enough claim the drivers.

I don't know if it will be so significant that we will see a completely different situation," said Bahrain winner, Charles Leclerc. "From one year to another it can be very different.

"It depends on how much traffic we have and this often depends not only on the track but also on the drivers," he continued. "We'll have to wait and see, but I don't see the changes made doing a huge difference to the scenario of last year.

"It's going in the right direction," he admitted, "but I don't think it's enough, especially in the last part of the track, from what I've seen.

"The first part - from Turn 4 to Turn 12 - it didn't change much what was probably the most critical part. Let's see tomorrow how it feels in the car but I don't think it's a massive change."

"I was commenting with Charles that they just moved the wall," added teammate CArlos Sainz, "but the driving line will still be close to the wall. It means our visibility doesn't improve, which for me just shows that we need to keep making this relationship with the FIA tighter, better, because we expected a step in the right direction.

"In my opinion this is not much better, it is marginally a very small tiny bit, smallest ever better."

Last year's race featured numerous incidents, resulting in one safety car period, two red flags, and four virtual safety car periods.

The first red flag followed Mick Schumacher going off into the barriers at Turn 21 after losing the rear of the car on entry.

Asked about the changes to the track, he replied: "Still some of the corners that we have could have been just a straight. It would have been easier, less numbers also to remember. I think that it's something that will probably evolve with time."

Check out our Friday gallery from Jeddah, here.

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