Sargeant: Jeddah track changes take away fear

Sargeant said that the changes to the track made it safer and easier for drivers to commit fully

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Williams rookie Logan Sargeant has said that the changes introduced to the Jeddah Street Circuit ahead of the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP have helped make it a less terrifying prospect for the drivers.

The tight, high-speed circuit in Jeddah has produced some exciting racing since it was first introduced to the calendar for the 2021 F1 season, but has also come in for criticism for being dangerous to drive.

Several drivers have had large accidents at the track, notably Mick Schumacher, who totalled his Haas after smashing into the barriers in the 2022 edition.

Various changes have been introduced for 2023, which include wider run off areas and changes to curbs in a bid to make some riskier parts of the track safer to drive, and Sargeant said that as a driver, it helped open up the potential of the circuit.

“I think the changes that they made are definitely positive from a driver’s perspective,” Sargeant told media ahead of the race weekend.

“Visually, being much more open, takes away a bit less of that sort of blind fear feeling and not knowing what’s around the corner.

“And then I think the exit curb changes have been positive, they’ve elevated the backside of the exit curbs to ultimately stop bottoming.

“So I think all that is possible, positive and more reasonable for a driver.”

Florida native Sargeant got off to a good start to life in F1 at the season opening 2023 Bahrain GP, finishing in 12th from 15th on the grid after narrowly losing out on getting into Q2 during qualifying.

The American’s teammate Alex Albon managed to secure a first points finish of the season in Bahrain, coming over the line in 10th, and Sargeant said there were positive signs that the 2023 Williams car had significant potential.

“We definitely have low drag. We’re definitely very quick in a straight line, that’s for sure,” Sargeant said.

“But to be honest, I think we just generally did a really good job, getting the car in a good window for Bahrain.

“Come qualifying and in the race, the balance was really quite good.

“So I think it was partially down to the good work we did throughout the test and through the free practices.”

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