Recognised because the quickest avenue observe on the calendar, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix host venue has drawn criticism since its 2021 debut for shut partitions that block the drivers’ sight traces by way of corners.
Forward of a second race in March 2022, the format was revised as choose partitions have been pushed again and the observe widened however additional steps have now been launched forward of this weekend’s race.
Most notably, the addition of a bevelled kerb and altering the place of a fence has reduce speeds by way of the left-right sequence of Turns 22-23 by 30mph.
As well as, a fence has additionally been pushed again by 7.5 metres on the faster Flip 4 and by 5 metres at Flip 20 to enhance visibility.
Sargeant, who made his FIA F2 debut on the venue for HWA Racelab in 2021 earlier than returning to the observe for Carlin final yr, reckoned these modifications have lessened the “blind worry”.
Requested by Autosport if the tweaks had helped, the Floridian stated: “The adjustments that they made are positively optimistic from a driver’s perspective.
“Visually, being way more open, it takes away a little bit of that blind worry feeling of not understanding what’s across the nook.
“They’ve elevated the again aspect of the exit kerbs to finally cease bottoming.
“So, I believe all that’s optimistic and extra affordable for a driver.”
Logan Sargeant, Williams Racing
Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Piastri: simulator can’t replicate Saudi “worry issue”
Regardless of the modifications, the circuit stays revered amongst drivers and its “worry issue” will not be one thing that may be replicated within the simulator, per McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.
The Australian, who like Sargeant is a top-flight rookie, received the second FIA F2 dash and have race on the Saudi Arabian venue on his technique to the 2021 title for Prema Racing.
However following a yr on the sidelines in his understudy position at Alpine earlier than making his McLaren swap, Piastri concedes he’s nonetheless race rusty.
That adaption course of will not be helped by the expertise from the staff’s soon-to-be-replaced simulator, which Piastri says can not totally repeat the “worry issue” of the uncovered Corniche coastal circuit.
He stated: “It is difficult to totally replicate the situations with the wind route, how a lot grip goes to be on the observe.
“Clearly, in a avenue circuit, the grip is continually evolving fairly quickly. It is troublesome to try this.
“On a sim, the worry issue will not be fairly there. That makes issues a bit of bit extra forgiving on the sim, however there’s quite a bit to attempt to dial myself into so after I hit the observe for the primary time.”