Nico Rosberg has conceded that he is happy to not be involved in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday, suggesting that the track is ‘completely nuts’ and ‘dangerous’. The former Mercedes driver, who retired in 2016, told fans his thoughts on the new track in Jeddah during a YouTube video.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has the chance to win the 2021 World Championship if various outcomes fall in his favour during Sunday’s race.
But Rosberg has expressed concerns about the circuit, on which Charles Leclerc has already had an accident, and quipped that he is glad to no longer be racing.
The 36-year-old begins his new video by saying: “it’s Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It’s a new track. I’ve just done a few laps on the simulator. Believe me, this track is completely nuts.”
He continues: “It’s so fast, there is no run-off. There is a corner at the back where you’re doing eighth gear and you downshift into seventh, and the corner is almost flat. On the right, there is a wall.
“This is going to be nuts. It is so crazy. And, honestly, this is so crazy that I am happy not to be in the car for this race weekend.
“This looks high, high risk. It is one of those times when I am like: ‘Ha, I’m good [to not take part]’.
“I’m not in the car and it will be exciting to see how they will all get on.”
The 2016 World Champion then takes fans on a few laps of the track on his simulator.
During a later Q&A session, he adds: “This is the ultimate challenge. This is dangerous, proper dangerous.
“The problem is, when you start going, it’s just so dusty and the sand is there, so it’s so slippery.
“You just have to build up to it, slowly but surely. You just have to find your rhythm and don’t make any mistakes.
“It’s an insane challenge.”
Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc walked away unhurt following a horror crash in practice ahead of Sunday.
With just minutes left of the hour-long session, Leclerc lost control of the rear of the car and landed heavily into the wall at high speed.
Leclerc was sent to the medical centre for further assessments but was later released.
The Ferrari driver had previously raised concern about the track.
He said: “On paper it looks like it’s not going to be one of our best tracks because obviously very long straights and a very high-speed track, but on the other hand it’s a city track so anything can happen.
“Hopefully as drivers we can make the difference and yes, I am just really looking forward to tomorrow to try this track for the first time.
“There are a lot of DRS zones and they are very, very long.
“I think one-third of the track is with DRS so I don’t think that overtaking is going to be extremely difficult like we are used to on a city track.
“But I definitely believe it is going to be a very challenging track for us drivers, a very high-speed [layout] with the walls so obviously no room for mistakes so it is going to be a tricky one but I’m looking forward to it.”