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F1 drivers give their thoughts on 'unbelievably quick' Jeddah circuit

With the opening day of practice at the inaugural F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix complete, several drivers have been sharing their views on the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Formula 1 has had its first day of running at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the drivers hitting the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the very first time. The opening practice session offered an opportunity to explore the high-speed, narrow track, and was a largely incident-free hour. Free Practice 2, however, was brought to a close several minutes early after Charles Leclerc crashed heavily. Fortunately, the Monagesque was unharmed , but his Ferrari suffered extensive damage. With the drivers having now experienced the circuit, RacingNews365.com gathered some of their thoughts on the latest addition to the F1 calendar.

Lewis Hamilton

"It's rapid, unbelievably quick. It really is incredibly fast, and [there's] a lot of grip as well. But really, if you can get the rhythm, it's beautiful to drive. [The traffic is] definitely a lot worse than a lot of the places we go to. It's Monaco-esque, but the speed, the closing distance on other cars is definitely getting to a bit of a danger zone."

Valtteri Bottas

"I think I said it already on the radio - it's really cool. It's quite hardcore, like it's pretty full gas and close to the walls and high speeds, but that's what we want. That's what we enjoy, and that gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush."

Fernando Alonso

"It was quite similar to the simulations and the simulator we had, to be honest. Even the timed lap is matching quite okay, so it was not a big surprise on track. But obviously, it is a very, very spectacular lap, because you are driving between two walls at speed. Any mistake, it could have big consequences. You have to be alert and it was a day that was not easy for anyone."

Carlos Sainz

"It's very different to anything I've driven before, to be honest. The intensity that this track gives you, and the thrill and the adrenaline, is something that I haven't lived a bit 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."

Sergio Perez

"It's a really nice, fast and fluid circuit out there, a really enjoyable one. I think qualifying is going to be tricky, the traffic management is going to be... trying to be there at the right place. We saw what happened when everyone was on the Soft tyres at the end, so it can get very tricky, very messy, very quickly."

Daniel Ricciardo

"It's fun, it's a good track. It's really high speed, but has lots of kind of good flow to it. It kind of all looks the same, so you have to talk yourself through each corner: 'Oh, okay, so this is this corner, this is that corner. Fourth gear. Okay, this is now fifth.' It's a maze, but it's a lot of fun, and the grip's good. On a track like this, which is a fast street circuit, it's nice to feel something like that."

Lando Norris

"It's a very cool track and very warm temperatures. It's a lot of fun. It's such a difficult track, especially sector one. You blink at the wrong time and you're going to be in the wall! It's tricky to concentrate so hard and so much, at the speed we're going, but it's a fun circuit. It's an exciting one, for sure. [It] keeps you on your toes through the whole lap, which is always a good thing."

George Russell

"It was very fun. It's very high speed and punishes you if you make a mistake. You have to be very, very precise to nail all of the corners. It will be tricky in qualifying, when you've got those one or two laps. The commitment you'll need through those high-speed [corners] will be pretty exhilarating, so I'm excited for that."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying