Sainz: 'Crazy' intensity of Jeddah track quite unique


Carlos Sainz says the sheer thrill and adrenaline rush produced by Jeddah's "crazy" track is quite different to anything he's experienced before.

The promoters of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix achieved a veritable tour de force by building in just eight months the fastest street circuit in motorsport history.

Laid out along the shores of the Red Sea in Jeddah's Corniche area, the 6.175km high-speed circuit will no room for error this weekend, as Sainz's teammate Charles Leclerc found out on Friday.

But the Ferrari charger was among those that gave the new venue a big thumbs up.

"[It’s] different, very different to anything I’ve driven in before, really to be honest," said Sainz when asked about his impressions of the track.

"The intensity that this track gives you on the thrill and adrenaline is something that I haven't lived since my Macau days.

"So it’s very different, very intense, very high-speed, very close to the walls, trying to get the turning points right, just before brushing the wall on the inside.

"It’s quite crazy out there but it looks like, so far, everyone has stayed safe today, and hopefully we can keep it the same way going into tomorrow and Sunday."


Contrary to Leclerc who was caught out at Turn 22 in the closing minutes of Friday's second practice session, Sainz enjoyed a trouble-free day that saw him clock in P7 at the end of FP2.

The Spaniard was not only impressed with Jeddah's layout but also with the grip level of the track's new tarmac which helped his opening day of running.

"This new tarmac was giving us a lot of confidence, a lot of grip, so it's a lot easier to set up the car," he said. "You don't have to think too much about the balance.

"Overall, a very simple day in that regard, a very difficult day from the driving side trying to adapt to this kind of circuit."

Sainz worked methodically through his day's programs and feels confident of a good showing in qualifying. But he also reckons the battle will be tight with his midfield rivals.

"I feel relatively confident, I did a good build-up through the day, getting up to speed very little by little," he said.

"The pace has been there all day, but we used different compounds, different fuel levels, so we need to analyse who’s in front and who’s behind.

"But at the moment it looks like another very tight battle with AlphaTauri, Alpine and McLaren and ourselves, so it looks like from 5th backwards it could be a very tight fight, like it was in Qatar."

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