Lewis Hamilton believes that Formula 1 is heading towards a "danger zone" in terms of traffic management at the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit, which was evident during Friday's pair of practice sessions.
Hamilton topped both FP1 and FP2 at the all-new venue but had several near misses with slow-moving cars as he completed flying laps, at one stage darting to the other side of the track while driving flat out.
Drivers are averaging around 250km/h at the street track, with top speeds pushing 330km/h.
"It's getting to a bit of a danger zone"
Hamilton noted the extreme closing speeds he experienced around the 6.174km, 27-corner layout.
"It's definitely a lot worse than a lot of the places we go to," said Hamilton, when asked about the traffic situation.
"It's Monaco-esque, but the speed, the closing distance on other cars is definitely getting to a bit of a danger zone."
Despite this, Hamilton gave the circuit a positive review, adding: "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."
A solid start to the weekend
Hamilton was also satisfied with his and Mercedes' performance on the first day of track action.
He edged out title rival Max Verstappen in FP1 and pipped teammate Valtteri Bottas in FP2.
"We're not rapid on a single lap, I would say, compared to the others, but my long-run pace was not too bad," added Hamilton.
"I'm generally happy. We made some changes between sessions. I'm unsure which one I want to stay with, but we'll study through it tonight and work with the guys back at the factory to try and make sure we come up with the correct setup for tomorrow.
"It's definitely not in a bad place. [But] over a single lap, they're [Red Bull] quite quick, so we've got a bit of work to do."
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