David Coulthard has admitted that he is a fan of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit due to its ability to leave drivers "pretty exhausted". Max Verstappen stood on the top step of the podium in Saudi Arabia after coming out on top following a 50-lap fight with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. The two World Championship hopefuls fought it out in spectacular fashion for the second Sunday running, with Leclerc this time having to settle for second following his triumph in Bahrain. But as the drivers made their way to the media pens post-race, a number of them noted the physical challenge of competing at the fastest street circuit on the 23-race calendar.
Coulthard: It's nice to see drivers made to work
Speaking to the F1 Nation podcast in Jeddah, Coulthard said: "Well, it looks really eye-openingly fast. It looks very challenging with not much room for error, it's part of the challenge of Formula 1. "What I did love is to see all the drivers pretty knackered at the end of it, pretty exhausted. For so long in the hybrid era, they weren't even sweating at the end of the Grand Prix!" However, the 13-time race winner acknowledges the work involved in such a race. "That was not to take away from their skills," Coulthard added. "It was the 'management Formula' for a long part of that era. "We're now back to hard racing, fast racing, and pushing the car to the limit - and I say fantastic."
Saudi GP weekend proved controversial
Despite Coulthard's praise, the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend will be remembered for much more than the intensity of the fight between Ferrari and Red Bull. On Friday, a missile strike on a nearby Aramco oil depot plunged the entire event into some doubt, with the drivers holding for a four-hour meeting to decide whether or not they would race. The following day, Haas driver Mick Schumacher crashed hard during qualifying at the high-speed Turn 10, 11 and 12 complex, resulting in him needing to be airlifted to hospital for checks. He was released that same night, and later confirmed to fans on social media that he was "okay". According to Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas, Formula 1 have promised the drivers that they will reconsider the future of the event that is currently contracted to stay on the calendar until 2025.