“I think Suzuka is an incredible track, but you would never make Suzuka with walls. Instead that’s what they did here [a Gedda], more or less. AND [una pista] demanding, but it is useless to have so little visibility for so long “. Music and words by Sebastian Vettel, which summed up the thoughts of almost all of his colleagues after the weekend of the first Saudi Arabian GP in history. The track, for speed and adrenaline, was very popular. But on the scales weighs much more than theextreme danger of a plant that has speeds comparable to those of Monza, but enclosed between very narrow walls, with no escape routes and no space to avoid a possible accident between several cars.
The latter problem emerged clearly in the case of the Mazepin-Russell rear-end collision, following the accident of Sergio Perez after the first restart. “There were very clear examples of what we drivers have been saying all weekend – commented Carlos Sainz, as reported by the site RaceFans – we saw it with Mazepin. This is exactly what this type of track generates. There is no room for trying to avoid an incidentand – added the Ferrari driver – there is no visibility and Nikita could not dodge the accident in front of him. This is what we have been saying since we arrived on Thursday. So there are some things to learn, analyze and evaluate for March, to see if we can make everything a little easier “.
Indeed, Formula 1 will return to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of next season, for the second race of the 2022 World Championship, on this same track. AlphaTauri rider Pierre Gasly admitted that the development of the race exceeded even his worst expectations on the eve of the race. “I didn’t expect that there would be such a situation – explained the French driver – and at some point I even started thinking, ‘ok, we will end up doing half the race under the Virtual Safety Car, or with the Safety Car proper, if it continues like this’“. Indeed, we have not gone very far from this scenario.