The “insane” Jeddah Corniche Circuit, according to Red Bull team manager Christian Horner, is expected to favor Mercedes this weekend.
Christian Horner is concerned of the problems that the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit will present to Red Bull, claiming that the highly fast, 27-corner track is unlike anything else on the Formula One calendar.
The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place this weekend in Jeddah, with the newly built track expected to be one of the quickest of the year.
Horner has referred to the layout as “insane” because it is narrow and winding, with concrete walls.
“We head to Saudi Arabia for their first race where the track looks insane from [what] I’ve seen,” Horner wrote in his latest column for the Red Bull website.
“It’s hugely fast and the first sector is like Suzuka, but with walls! It is going to be a massive challenge and I’m sure there will be plenty of excitement and drama.”
Most in the paddock expect the circuit’s power demands to favor Mercedes, and Horner agreed that this will most likely be the case.
“We will be watching the Formula 2 race very carefully,” he commented.
“On paper, it looks like a power-sensitive circuit, so you’d say that tends to favour Mercedes, and it looks as though they feel that way too, but you just don’t know.”
Crunch time in the championship fight
The upcoming back-to-back sequence marks the conclusion of an intense year-long war between Red Bull and Mercedes, with only two races remaining.
Red Bull won the final race in Abu Dhabi by a comfortable margin in 2020, but Horner claimed that the form book doesn’t apply due to recent track changes.
“In 2020, we were the first team to beat Mercedes [in Abu Dhabi] since 2013, but they’ve changed the circuit considerably,” he said.
“We will be preparing as best as we can to go there and perform and see where we end up.
“Whatever happens at the end of this championship, we will know that we have given it everything we have got.
“The racing this year has been incredible, and the rivalry is intense, it polarises opinions, but it also draws in a huge audience, which has been wonderful to be a part of.”
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