Hill has worries over ‘high jeopardy’ Jeddah track

Mark Scott
Damon Hill on media duties in Qatar. Doha November 2021

Sky Sports pundit Damon Hill on media duties in Qatar. Doha November 2021

Damon Hill has expressed his concern over the high-speed nature of the Jeddah Corniche circuit and its limited run-off areas.

It really has been a race against time for the brand-new track to be ready in time to host the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but all indications suggest that the race weekend will go ahead as planned.

The Jeddah Corniche track has already been billed as ‘the fastest street circuit in the world’ and that has the 1996 World Champion a little apprehensive over the track’s characteristics.

“The track we’re going to discover, I think it’s going be a big challenge, by the looks of things,” Hill told the F1 Nation podcast.

“I’m a bit worried about the speed. I mean, there’s not much run-off. They’ve got the SAFER barrier that they’re using, which is like they do in Indianapolis, but it’s gonna be very high speed and not much run-off.

“So [it’s] high-risk, high jeopardy. That always gets your attention as a racing driver.”

Naturally, the Jeddah circuit has drawn comparisons to the Baku street circuit – home of the now much beloved Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

But Hill has received a friendly ticking off from Formula 1’s managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, for making such a suggestion.

“I think it’s a very difficult one to judge, because it’s such an unusual-looking track,” said Hill.

“I compared it to possibly like Baku, and I was told off by Ross Brawn who said, ‘No, no, it’s not like that at all. It’s a completely different type of track. It’s got banked corners and stuff’.

“Some of the sweeps look quite long, so I’m racking my brains – I think it could be a cross between something like Singapore and Baku.

“I think it’s great that nobody knows where they’re going. This is a completely unknown place, an unknown track.

“It’s at that crucial point in the championship. This is going to be so important for the championship, this race coming up.”

Whilst there is a strong sense of heading into the unknown at Jeddah, there are early whispers that this will be a track that will suit Mercedes more than Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton, on the back of consecutive race wins, has already said that he and Mercedes will be bringing their “AAA game” to Jeddah, which will see the return of his fresh engine which powered him to victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix.


h3>PlanetF1 Verdict


Safety concerns over Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Damon Hill has expressed his concern over the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix circuit.