Verstappen: Jeddah 'more dangerous' than Spa's Raidillon

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Max Verstappen acknowledged the perils of Spa's Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex after last weekend's tragedy at the Belgian track but believes that Jeddah's first sector is even "more dangerous" for drivers.

Spa's safety came under the spotlight last weekend following the fatal accident suffered by 18-year-old Formula Regional racer Dilano van 't Hoff who lost control of his car on the Kemmel straight and was hit broadside by another driver.

The crash, which took place on the final restart lap of the Formula Regional event, was similar to the accident that claimed the life of F2 driver Anthoine Hubert at the same spot in 2019.

However, the wet track and the heavy rain which significantly reduced the field's visibility were likely major factors that contributed to van 't Hoff's tragic misfortune.

The tragedy led Aston Martin's Lance Stroll to call for changes to Spa's layout, insisting that "F1 is playing with fire" as long as safety isn't improved at the site.

Verstappen recognized the dangers associated with Spa's landmark Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex, but also singled out Jeddah, which was added to F1's calendar in 2021, as even more hazardous proposition.

"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," Verstappen said in Austria last weekend.

"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.

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

Addressing last weekend's tragedy at Spa, Verstappen reckoned that the huge amount of spray thrown up by the field in the rainy conditions had significantly multiplied the chances of an accident occurring.

The Dutchman also questioned why, given the precarious conditions, the Formula Regional race was allowed to restart with but a single lap to be completed.

"For sure, Eau Rouge is blind going up, but of course this accident happened later," he added.

"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 they restarted [the race]."

Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez agreed that the conditions at Spa were a factor in the multi-car crash that led to van 't Hoff's accident.

"To me, the most important one is definitely the track conditions, because I think sometimes race directors are pushed by, probably fans and social media, people sitting back at home thinking that the circuit looks fine to race but the visibility is just the most important," Perez added.

"Accidents can happen but you cannot have situations where drivers are basically blind and just going flat out, because it's when those big accidents can happen in any series.

"So, if that means delaying the start and means that we won't have the start when the track is really wet, then fine.

"We've got to do what is safe for all the drivers."

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