Motor racing-Saudi F1 organisers to tweak circuit layout to improve driver visibility

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - December 5, 2021 General view at the start of the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

(Reuters) - Some minor adjustments will be made to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix's Jeddah street circuit to improve driver visibility around corners, organisers said on Thursday.

"Firstly, there are going to be one or two slight changes to the track," Saudi Motorsport Company Chief Executive Martin Whitaker said in a statement.

"These tweaks are directly related to a drivers’ sightline from the cockpit.

"It’s minimal work, but it will help improve forward visibility in a couple of corners."

The 6.1-km long Jeddah Corniche Circuit made its Formula One debut in December and is considered to be the second-fastest track on the calendar after Monza in Italy.

Its flowing layout of mainly flat-out blasts along the city's Red Sea waterfront and a succession of high speed corners hemmed in by walls, made it difficult for drivers to spot slower moving cars around some turns.

That led to some near misses in practice and qualifying, before the track produced a dramatic race on Sunday that was halted twice due to crashes.

Drivers enjoyed tearing around the high-speed layout but raised concerns about the lack of visibility around corners.

"The length of time between the two races has enabled us to reflect on some aspects that did and didn’t work," said Whitaker, adding that some barriers around the track would also be modified to accommodate the racing lines drivers were taking through certain corners.

"And we have been striving to improve on some areas for our second event."

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place on March 27, one week after the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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