Verstappen reveals another track far more dangerous than Spa’s Raidillon

Verstappen reveals another track far more dangerous than Spa's Raidillon

Max Verstappen noted the dangers of Spa-Francorchamps’ Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex after the tragedy that happened at the Belgian circuit last weekend, however, he thinks that Jeddah’s first sector is much more dangerous for drivers.

Following the deadly accident involving 18-year-old Formula Regional racer Dilano van ‘t Hoff, who lost control of his vehicle on the Kemmel straight and was struck broadside by another driver, Spa’s safety came under scrutiny last weekend.

Similar to the tragedy that claimed the life of F2 driver Anthoine Hubert at the same place in 2019, this one occurred on the final restart lap of the Formula Regional race.

Van ‘t Hoff’s unfortunate incident, however, was probably heavily influenced by the wet track and the intense rain, which significantly blurred  track visibility. After the disaster, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll demanded that Spa Francorchamps’ layout be modified, claiming that “F1 is playing with fire” if safety at the track fails to be improved.

Verstappen acknowledged the risks associated with the iconic Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex in Spa, but he also singled out Jeddah, which was added to the F1 calendar in 2021 as an even more risky alternative.

“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 and I know how that feels.

“It’s super dangerous when these things happen.”

Verstappen commented on the tragedy that happened at Spa last weekend and said that the field’s tremendous amount of spray in the wet circumstances had greatly increased the possibility of an accident.

The Red Bull driver further questioned why the Formula Regional race got the green light to resume with only one lap remaining despite the dangerous conditions.

“For sure, Eau Rouge is blind going up, but of course this accident happened later,” Verstappen 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 weather at Spa had a role in the multi-car crash that resulted in van ‘t Hoff’s incident, according to Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

“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 said.

“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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