Jeddah Corniche Circuit construction work

New pictures reveal progress on Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah F1 circuit

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In the round-up: The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix promoters have revealed new images showing the extent of the construction work in Jeddah.

In brief

Progress continues at Jeddah circuit

With 50 days to go until the first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which will be the penultimate round of the world championship, the promoters have revealed new images of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit under construction in the country’s second-largest city.

The 27-turn, 6.175 kilometre circuit will be one of the longest F1 races on and is being billed as its fastest street track. The image above shows turn 26, which will be one of the quickest points on the track. It leads into the final corner, which drivers are expected to reach 322kph (200mph) before braking.

The track is fully floodlight and the race will be held at night under lights.

Jeddah Corniche Circuit construction work
Construction work on Jeddah’s Formula 1 track

Williams weak in intermediate conditions – Russell

George Russell, Williams, Istanbul Park, 2021
Damp tracks don’t suit Williams, says Russell
George Russell says the rain which has fallen in recent races has highlighted a weakness in the performance of his FW43B. The Williams driver said the car isn’t competitive in intermediate weather conditions.

“If you push too much, the wear of the tyre increases and then when you get to the wetter parts of the track you just don’t have grip,” Russell explained after Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix. “But when we came back out with new tyres on they didn’t really seem to switch on either.

“The tread’s so much more [that] on drier parts of the track they weren’t suitable either. You’re threading the needed. It’s been twice now we’ve been in these conditions, we’ve struggled both times.

“We normally excel when it’s either wet conditions or slicks than damp conditions. This intermediate phase we need to have a bit of a think about.”

Fry joins ex-McLaren Group company

Former Mercedes F1 CEO Nick Fry has joined technology company McLaren Applied. The company was part of the McLaren Group, along with the F1 team, until August when it was sold to Greybull Capital. RaceFans understands McLaren Applied is planning a change of name.

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Comment of the day

Could F1 solve its sprint race headache by separating it from the championship entirely?

They want extra races during grand prix weekends, fine. Just make it so it’s separate from Sunday’s race and has no implication on either drivers or constructors championships.

I’d be all for having a separate sprint championship, only for constructors. They should make it so that a single driver could not participate in more than a third of sprint races (four out of six), to force teams to occasionally use their third or reserve drivers.

We always complain that their is only so many spots available in Formula 1, and so few opportunities for young or reserve drivers to drive a current-generation F1 car. Well, that checks all the boxes in my opinion.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “New pictures reveal progress on Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah F1 circuit”

  1. Once they add the customary concrete barries, this will be a close rival to the famous Valencia container terminal track we all longingly miss.

    1. Careful. Say the wrong thing, they’ll invite you round for ‘talks’, cut you up with a saw and burn your body.

      1. Montréalais (@)
        15th October 2021, 6:04

        zinggggggg! There goes me!

    2. Oh, yeah, I am already looking forward to ignoring this one! @proesterchen, I agree with you that so far it does not at all look like a great or interesting track to watch, and on top there are the issues with racing in S.A. as @falken sharply mentions!

  2. Fingers crossed there’s an Australian Grand Prix next year. The track gets a lot of flak but it’s always a grand prix I enjoy, possibly because of the tradition of waking up very early on a Sunday morning for the start of the season (or in my late teens/early 20s, coming home from the pub and watching it with some mates and laughing at those that couldn’t stay up).

    1. I for one will be absolutely gutted if Australia doesn’t occur next year. Having been to a dozen different Grands Prix around the world it is one of the best organised events and the new circuit layout looks interesting. But over and above that, if Australia were to lose the Grand Prix, our nearest event would be Singapore, a 7 hour flight from Melbourne. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely love nothing more than jumping on a plane to attend a Grand Prix as part of a holiday, however to lose the only race on our doorstep would seriously suck. Oh the joys of living in Europe where you get the best part of 15 races within a 7 hour flight to choose from…

      However I do think the race will go ahead (fingers crossed!), probably under a tight bubble-like system used in Abu Dhabi last year for F1 personnel. Our government would be stupid to play with fire and screw F1 around yet again.

    2. @djarvis +1

      I always liked Melbourne as the first race of the season. It makes it more of a special location and ceremonious event kicking off the another season of F1 racing.

      Sadly all indicators say that Australia will not be hosting the season opener and being relegated to a later date in the season. I think more info will be published later in the day (Oct. 15th) by F1.

    3. @djarvis

      I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      Australia may as well be 6 states and 3 mainland territories being very loosely bound together at this point, because it certainly doesnt feel like one united country. Our esteemed PM effectively handed over management of COVID and associated quarantine and enforcement to the State Premiers, who in turn, have become drunk with power. We’re effectively in an episode of Game of Thrones down here.

      While some states are “opening up”, other states, like Western Australia, whose Lord Commander is threatening keep our borders shut well into next year. Victoria is still in lockdown last time I checked.

      We are now a meme nation.

      1. We are now a meme nation.

        With globally enviable infection and death rates….

        1. Yes, no doubt. First of all we are an island, a pretty large one at that, which is far away from the rest of the world, mostly desert, lots of red dirt, kangaroos and spiders, and apart from urban centres, pretty sparsely populated.

          It has also come as a result of some of the longest lockdowns in the world (i.e. Melbourne the most locked down city in the world) and various restrictions travelling between states, not to mention unsustainable zero Covid policies.

          The only reason the economy hasn’t totally collapsed is thanks to the burgeoning commodities market. Iron Ore has significantly dropped in price in recent months, however it carried us through last year, now the LNG prices are through the roof, Coal prices are also on the up.

          As I always say, there is no plan, there never was, its just pure dumb luck. If you thought your pollies in the UK are bad, our guys say “hold my beer”.

          1. I think most would agree that lockdowns are a better option than death…
            Those lockdowns have been driven primarily by our slow vaccination rate.
            Who knows – perhaps our vaccination rate would have been higher if the EU hadn’t denied us vaccines…. Or even if the AstraZeneca risks hadn’t been blown way out of proportion. Or if the antivaxxers hadn’t gone on daily illegal protests and media campaigns.

            Places that have sustained zero (or near-zero) have enjoyed almost ‘normal’ freedoms for quite a while.
            Ah yes, the economy – that’s been the biggest driver of re-opening everything prematurely, leading to further outbreaks and even further extended lockdowns…
            If the economy hadn’t been prioritised globally, the virus could have been eradicated completely. Sadly, that opportunity is long gone now.

      2. Sorry to hear that. But I can tell you having too centralized government when the voice of local authorities suppressed is not nice either.

    4. It is beautiful, unique, an open street track. Cars look spectacular there. When it rains it can be unpredictable. It is my favourite track.

  3. Interesting, any pics of all the other sections of the track showing completion?

    Let’s hope there’s no serious yellow flags in quali or race as I see no service roads remotely ready to handle heavy cranes or flat beds. I predict there could instead be red flags to use the track for them?

    50 days to go! I hope they make it.

    1. @redpill I wouldn’t be surprised if this is let slide by the track vetters. A red flag or two would make it like sprint races, and that’s what the fans love above all else. (I’m not even kidding as safety car or red flag race consistently get rated highly here)

      1. @balue That would be sad.

        It would be nice to have some normal races again. Turkey was nice to watch with minimum yellow flags, disruptions and NO red flag, all cars finished and all the teams were able to race against each other in a full length race and we were able to see the planned strategies executed by all the teams and how it worked out in the long play. It was a good F1 race!

        Having been (in another life time) in commercial development, design and construction, if those pics were from one of my projects and told you have 50 days left to make it functional; I would be having some serious panic attacks.

        It’s so hard to tell from only two pics but I guarantee we’re looking at the good bits and not the least completed and biggest problems. It’s going to be very interesting to see how things turn out.

        1. @redpill

          It would be nice to have some normal races again. Turkey was nice to watch with minimum yellow flags, disruptions and NO red flag, all cars finished and all the teams were able to race against each other in a full length race and we were able to see the planned strategies executed by all the teams and how it worked out in the long play. It was a good F1 race!

          Totally agree. It didn’t have the edge-of-the-seat excitement of a long drawn fight for the win, but a properly satisfying F1 race nonetheless with no silly interruptions and race reset fakery. I gave it 8/10 in the ratings.

  4. Re Sprint races: If F1 insist on having sprint races, keep them as they are (except don’t award any points). I can just about live with the current watered down (boring?) sprint race that doesn’t interfere too much with the tradition of the championship than make it even more gimmiky.

    I love almost everything Liberty are doing with F1 with the exception of sprint races (and F1’s seemingly disregard for the core fans). Don’t promise us that they will go back on the idea if it’s not popular after the proper analysis of the 3 events takes place, and then double the amount of sprints before we’ve even ran the 3 events this year!

  5. I agree with COTD and posted something similar recently.

    Run the sprints as non-championship, a new separate championship or Constructors Championship only. Then go nuts with reverse grid, third-drivers, different rules, etc. It would be entertaining but wouldn’t compromise the Drivers Championship at least.

    1. The only way that this idea would not compromise the driver’s championship is if they also used entirely different cars, as engine penalties would still be an issue. Unfortunately, that would not help with costs.

  6. I like their solution to Track limit enforcement, these square concrete blocks will surly get your attention.

    1. @Carbonized A wall will, of course, get placed in front of them, LOL.

    2. That was funny :)

    3. Oh, they will surely place some hay bales in front of them.

  7. A couple of issues I see with the COTD proposal. Firstly, you have the added risk to teams of inexperienced drivers in their cars – you’d have to financially compensate them to meet the risk of crashes etc.

    Secondly, the sprint races immediately become a less marketable product if the best drivers are not always racing in them. Would the multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals from questionable Ponzi schemes roll in if you weren’t guaranteed to see the likes of Hamilton and Verstappen competing in every race?

    Really, I think all this back-and-forth about the precise format of the sprint races avoids the fundamental point, which is that it doesn’t work as a concept and should be scrapped.

    1. In addition to/as a result of this: I really wonder what would be the value of being able to say “I won the F1 sprint race championship” at the end of the year.

  8. Not necessarily one of the longest races as this implies length in time. The 2nd-longest circuit in lap distance, but in overall time, not unless the average lap speed was on the low end like Marina Bay’s.

    Herta is unlikely even if the rumored Andretti buyout happens because of his super license situation.

    For Australian GP, I hope the early-season commitment means people can be entirely sure well in advance.

    COTD’s idea itself is good, although possibly some minuses as explained in the post above mine.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      15th October 2021, 14:44

      Herta won’t have enough for this year but if he has another strong season in Indycar, he’ll be fine for 2023.

  9. Those street circuit pics make me think this is a massive waste of resources to only be used for the F1 race. I highly doubt F1 includes the carbon footprint of street circuit construction in its figures or they wouldn’t be so big on using these fake street circuits that combine mostly new track with a portion on real streets.

    The COTD suggests a good compromise that could keep F1’s investors happy while solving the additional problem of access to F1. It would make the races more compelling rather than a bogus charade between qualifying and the race held only to increase revenues.

  10. The Jeddah circuit’s safety continues to concern me. Lining a circuit that features multiple fast blind corners with many bridges and very tightly spaced lamp posts is risky, as it can be extremely messy if cars go airborne due to hitting slow or stationary cars, which will be a particularly high risk during qualifying. Jeff Krosnoff’s fatal Indycar accident springs to mind. Singapore’s lighting setup is significantly less risky than Jeddah’s, as it has its lamp posts far more spread out, with strings of lights suspended from long beams linking the lamp posts together very high up.

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