And now, of all things, there is an extremely high-speed route! The next race in Saudi Arabia will go through the city and past walls, but the 6.174 kilometer track in Jeddah Corniche Circuit is also one of the fastest tracks on the Formula 1 calendar. The remarkable proportion of full throttle: 79 percent.
A clear advantage for Hamilton, who will start again on the high-speed street circuit with his rocket engine from Brazil. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff warns the competition: “If you consider where we were at the beginning of summer, that’s a privilege and proof of our resilience. The car is probably better than it has ever been this season. The drivers have the confidence to go to the limit with it. We are on the hunt and more motivated than ever. “
The pressure on Red Bull is increasing as well as on engine manufacturer Honda, because the final in Abu Dhabi also has various long straights in store. Italian media are therefore reporting that Red Bull has asked the Japanese to get everything out of the aggregate in the final sprint. In return, the Japanese recommended swapping Verstappen’s drive unit again before the final GP. One reason: the engine is almost 2000 kilometers under its belt.
Does the Dutchman threaten a starting place penalty in Jeddah of all places, where the full throttle percentage is high but the opportunities for overtaking are low after the recommended engine change?
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko (still) says no. “An engine change is not planned in Saudi Arabia at the moment,” the Austrian tells ABMS, “if it does, it will come to Abu Dhabi.”
Verstappen is, however, cool as always. “I feel calm, I know that I’ll always try to do my best and we’ll see where we end up. Nothing has been decided yet and we are all ready for the challenge. “
At least mathematically, the Red Bull star has an advantage in Jeddah: If he scores eight points more than Hamilton, he is world champion. The Briton, on the other hand, cannot become world champion this coming weekend.
One thing is certain: the crucial phase has begun – on and off the track.