Hamilton warns of Saudi ‘danger zone’

Lewis Hamilton has warned that the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is ​​”a danger zone” ahead of this weekend’s inaugural race.

The Mercedes driver finished the fastest at the end of Friday’s two practice sessions at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, with his fastest lap in a 29,018 minute in FP2 that took place under fire.

It was during this session, however, that the self-proclaimed “F1’s fastest street circuit” highlighted an issue which will be of concern to all drivers and which will almost certainly be discussed at the regular briefing. Friday with FIA Race Director Michael Masi. .

Images aboard one of Hamilton’s laps showed him behind slower cars waiting to prepare for a lap, with frightening closing speeds.

Describing the circuit, Hamilton said: “Quick! Incredibly fast!

“It’s really, incredibly fast, lots of grip too and once you get the pace it’s nice to drive.”

But reflecting on the traffic we encountered in FP2 which could well be a problem before qualifying, Hamilton added: “Yes, it’s definitely a lot worse than a lot of places we go – Monaco-esque.

“The closing difference speeds are definitely becoming a danger zone.”

Hamilton takes advantage of circuit mastery

Hamilton is racing eight points behind Red Bull rival Max Verstappen in this year’s title race.

At the start of the weekend, the seven-time champion could not have asked for much more.

“What I noticed right away was that the grip was very, very high from the moment we got out,” said Hamilton.

“We tried a few things with the set-up. We’re not quick on one lap compared to the others, but our pace in the long run didn’t look too bad, so who knows what’s going to happen.”

As to whether he had gained confidence with the track, he added: “I don’t feel like I had to develop confidence. It’s a track where you can’t go all the way, you have to build in it. “

His teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished second just 0.061 seconds ahead, was delighted with the track, describing it as “really cool, hardcore, full of gas, close to the walls at high speed. adrenaline rush. “

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