Gasly anticipating 'complicated' challenge in Jeddah


AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly is expecting to deal with a few "complicated" challenges next weekend at Formula 1's new Jeddah venue.

Saudi Arabia makes its big entry this week into the history of Grand Prix racing, with a circuit being heralded as the fastest street track ever in F1.

Jeddah will be unknown turf for all teams and drivers, but like his colleagues, Gasly has put in the hours in the simulator to learn as much as he can about the new layout.

"Judging from what I saw on the simulator, Saudi will be extremely quick, with a large number of very high-speed corners, some of them blind," commented Gasly ahead of this weekend's premiere.

"I think it’s going to be very complicated from a driving point of view and there will be the extra challenge of the track surface being completely new."

Last year's Italian Grand Prix winner underlined a few specifics associated with any brand-new track, including low grip levels.

"No cars have ever raced on it, there will be no rubber down and probably some oil will still be coming out of the tarmac, which is what normally happens at a new circuit," he explained.

"So, we are looking at a street circuit with quite low grip, which is a new challenge as no one has any data from the track.

"But for our part, we showed in Qatar that we can adapt fairly quickly to a new situation, running near the front immediately from the Friday.

"However, we will have to work hard to be quick over a single lap and also a long distance, to find the right compromise for both Saturday and Sunday.

"Another thing that is clear from the simulator is that the speeds are very high, but the walls are very close, so it should be impressive from the cockpit and a nice challenge, which we must prepare as well as possible for."

Looking back at Qatar, the final round of F1's most recent triple-header, Gasly says AlphaTauri got to the bottom of the issues that undermined his race at Losail.

"With the team we have now studied the reasons for that in the hope it won’t repeat itself," he said.

Unfortunately, in the Championship the position is more complicated, as Alpine had a good weekend in Qatar.

"It was great to be on the front row again, the first time since I raced in Super Formula in Japan in 2017, and being there alongside Lewis was very cool.

"I hope there will be more of those moments in the future. Even though I was there slightly by default, we have come close a few times this year and it was a good experience.

"I got a taste for it!"

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter