Lewis Hamilton has proclaimed the Jeddah Corniche Circuit a "wall of champions everywhere" track ahead of his bid for victory in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Hamilton's reflection followed the two incidents witnessed so far at the Red Sea venue that saw Ferrari's Charles Leclerc crash into a Tecpro barrier in practice on Friday before Max Verstappen's shunt at the death in qualifying.
The Red Bull driver was on course to crush Hamilton's provisional pole time, only to hit a concrete wall with the right-rear wheel at the last of the 27 turns.
That has handed the advantage to Hamilton albeit wary the smallest mistake on any of the 50 laps around the self-proclaimed 'fastest street circuit in F1' will prove costly.
Assessing the battle with the track ahead, Hamilton said: "It’s how you approach the corners.
"It’s where you do and don’t attack and try and define the right balance of being on that knife-edge, as you could see for Max.
"Obviously, we were all on the edge and there is a wall of champions everywhere here. [It is] A really complex track and incredibly quick."
Hamilton heading into the unknown
Proclaiming it "intense but enjoyable" to drive the circuit in qualifying trim that led to his 103rd pole, the seven-time champion added: "It always feels better when you are happy with the balance you have, happy with everything and it kind of runs a bit smoother.
"This one was more heart in your mouth for all of us. Yeah, we got that lap right at the end, which in the end was good enough.
"If Max had finished his lap he would have been ahead. Regardless, I’m happy, grateful and now we just have to work as a team from there.
"Collectively it’s about being smart and working together as a team, which we all do exceptionally well.
"It’s a night race, a new track, lots of unknowns but we’ll be pushing."