Max Verstappen identifies a ‘more dangerous’ F1 track amidst calls for Spa changes

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen with a bandage on his right hand. Britain July 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen with a bandage on his right hand. Britain July 2023

After increased focus on the safety of Spa, Max Verstappen said he believes the Jeddah circuit is “more dangerous”.

Verstappen’s compatriot Dilano van ’t Hoff tragically lost his life during a junior race at Spa on the morning of qualifying for the F1 Austrian Grand Prix and brought further attention to the Belgian circuit which claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert in 2019.

The most vocal F1 voice was that of Lance Stroll who said changes needed to be made to the famous Eau Rouge corner after two lives were lost in quick succession near that portion of the track.

“It’s not fair what happened, and that corner needs to be looked at and changed, because we lost two young talents in like five years, it needs to be changed,” Stroll said. “We’re going there in a few weeks, it’s horrible what happened today, we lost a member of the racing family.

“Seriously, we need to think about what to do with that corner as it’s never fun going through there, every time we go through there we put our lives on the line.

“Today we saw something bad happen. It’s not right.

“We’ve discussed it but then it blows over, it needs to be changed.

“We’re losing lives in that corner, it has to change, for me it’s not even a discussion.”

Verstappen though said Eau Rogue was not solely to blame for Van ‘t Hoff’s death and that the weather conditions on the day played a major part.

“In Eau Rouge, going up, it is blind, but of course this accident now happened later,” he said. “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. recommends

F1 penalty points: Only one driver has points added in penalty-fuelled Austrian GP

F1 driver contracts: What is the current contract status of every driver on the 2023 grid?

“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.”

Verstappen did agree that it was a dangerous corner but wanted to highlight another circuit on the calendar which he perceived as riskier, that being the Jeddah street circuit in Saudi Arabia.

“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,” Verstappen said.

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

Read next: Andretti bid at centre of brewing Formula 1 versus FIA president power struggle – report