Jeddah ‘more dangerous’ than Spa, says Verstappen after calls for changes

Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen believes Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Corniche Circuit is “probably more dangerous” than Spa-Francorchamps following calls to change the Belgian circuit amid safety concerns.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference…

18-year-old Dilano van ’t Hoff tragically lost his life during a junior race at Spa over the weekend.

The incident occurred on the Kemmel Straight in treacherous conditions, just after the iconic Eau Rouge/Raidillon section.

Remote video URL

In response to the accident, a number of drivers, most notably Lance Stroll called for significant changes to the Spa circuit.

Frenchman Anthoine Hubert also lost his life at a similar section of the track four years earlier.

Verstappen, who was speaking in the FIA press conference after his latest win in Austria, believes the opening sector in Jeddah is even more dangerous to the blind nature of it.

“It’s, for sure, quite a dangerous corner but we're also going to Jeddah in Sector 1 and that, for me, is probably more dangerous even because well, I’m happy that nothing has happened yet in that sector because going through (Turns) 6, 7, 8, if you have a shunt there that can be the same – it's all blind, you don't know what's coming. Even with people like impeding and stuff,” he said. 

“I remember in the beginning of the year there, I got upset with my engineer because I impeded Lando, I think, and I know how that feels. It’s super dangerous when these things happen.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Verstappen thinks it’s unfair to blame Spa specifically for the accident over the weekend.

“In Eau Rouge, going up, it is blind, but of course this accident now happened later,” he added. “I think the only thing that maybe can be improved there is to make more space in terms of trying to move the barriers more out, because at the moment, it looks like as soon as you crash, you hit the barrier, you bounce back onto the track quite easily. 

“And of course with that scenario, where there is almost no visibility, a lot of water, and that is of course a big issue. I think in the dry, normally, it's a bit better. You see, of course, more of what is going on in front of you. I think already the changes they made in Spa, they definitely opened it up a lot more but it will always be a dangerous corner, but we are going to a lot of tracks where there are dangerous corners, where up until probably there is an accident, you won't say anything. 

“And now of course it gets brought up, but I feel it's a bit unfair to just blame it on the track, because I think in the first place you have to look into why did they restart.”

Read More