Masi says Jeddah will be tweaked, not overhauled

Finley Crebolder
Debris being cleared by marshals. Jeddah Saudi Arabia December 2021

Debris being cleared by marshals. Saudi Arabia December 2021

Despite safety concerns from a number of drivers in Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah circuit won’t be changed in a “major way,” says Michael Masi.

Formula 1 headed to the track for the first time for the penultimate round of the 2021 campaign, and before the race had even started, drivers were worried about how safe it was.

Due to blind corners, high speeds and tight walls, faster cars came close to hitting those not on flying laps during qualifying, making Sergio Perez and others concerned about the race the following day.

“It’s a really nice circuit, very dangerous though in terms of there is a lot of straights that are turning, cornering and blind corners,” said the Mexican after qualifying.

“When you look at some of the onboards it’s quite scary. I hope nothing [bad] happens tomorrow.

“I just feel the track is a bit too risky without reason, with the speeds we are doing with the deltas around the track from some other cars, and it’s a bit unnecessary.”

While nobody was hurt on race day, there were indeed a number of incidents with Checo himself along with Nikita Mazepin and George Russell crashing out at one of the restarts.

The debris from such incidents also took a long time to clear away, meaning much of the race was spent under a Virtual Safety Car or a full one.

Nevertheless, Masi says that the venue will only be tweaked, rather than overhauled ahead of its return at the start of next season.

“I think here in Saudi Arabia they’ve done a brilliant job of putting this amazing facility together in such a short time frame, which is a credit to everyone involved,” the FIA race director said as per Motorsport.com.

 

“There is some fine-tuning that will happen across the board. There were some teething issues [with it] being a brand new event, brand new facility, on the whole of things.

“There’ll be some fine-tuning but nothing in a major way that I envisage here and now.”

In terms of specific alterations, various drivers have said that they’d like the fast sweeping sections of the track, where there is a lack of visibility ahead, to be made straighter in the future.

 

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