Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022

F1 likely to extend stay at Jeddah from three years to five before Qiddiya move

2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 is expected to hold more races at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit than was originally planned before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix changes venues.

The CEO of the Saudi Motorsport Company, Martin Whitaker, said F1’s three-year run at the temporary circuity is likely to be extended to five years.

F1 has a long-term deal to race in Saudi Arabia. The eventual destination of the event is a purpose-built venue in a new entertainment centre known as Qiddiya, 40 kilometres outside the capital Riyadh.

“We’re all waiting now what’s happening with Qiddiya because, as you know, the contract for a grand prix in Saudi Arabia is for 15 years,” Whitaker explained. “The majority of those years will see it taking place in Qiddiya.

“Qiddiya at the moment is effectively in the planning stage, there’s no track there, there’s no buildings there or nothing to speak of anyway. So there’s a lot of work to go now.”

Jeddah “is a fantastic circuit and it’s difficult to sometimes forget that it is a temporary facility,” said Whitaker. “So in a sense the majority of the buildings will come down or are due to come down after the racing is completed.”

Qiddiya plan, 2019
Report: Saudi Arabia planning Spa-beating longest F1 track for its first race
The Qiddiya circuit will be part of a sprawling entertainment complex. Ambitious plans have been revealed for a track which would be the longest in F1 and pass beneath a rollercoaster.

“We would continue to be the promoter for the Qiddiya race,” said Whitaker. “I think the agreement with Formula 1 is very clearly that when Formula 1 moves to Qiddiya it is a fully-blown Formula 1 circuit with all the right environment around it.”

The timeframe for the move from Jeddah to Qiddiya has been extended, Whitaker believes. “I suspect the original plan was for it to be in Jeddah for three years, I suspect that it will probably be there for probably another two years to allow Qiddiya to properly mature.”

“But at the same time, the circuit is very much part of the community in Jeddah,” he added. “And obviously, we want to use it as a going concern.

“So we have a lot of events that are interested in coming together. We also have a lot of local events, as you would expect some corporate events, product launches, community events, charity events, et cetera. and we’ve already started to run those.”

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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17 comments on “F1 likely to extend stay at Jeddah from three years to five before Qiddiya move”

  1. Maybe they will have to improve safety at Jeddah for next year now.

    1. Maybe they will have to improve safety at Jeddah for next year now.

      Well, they could start by reversing the direction of flow so that the pit lane entrance is a simple sweep off the outside of a curve and the exit is a merge into the straight.
      However, they seem to prefer to have an accident waiting to happen at various points on the circuit, so why miss out on a possible smash at the pit exit eh?

  2. That’s disappointing. Hopefully the changes they’re making to the barriers will help on the safety front. There were too many blind spots on fast sections last year and it was really quite dangerous.

    1. Eau rouge is blind. Maybe flatten that also?

  3. Is this some sort of joke

  4. So the Qiddiya track won’t get ready by late-2023/early-2024, after all, nor even by 2025.
    Therefore, a 2026 early-season phase debut. Oh well, I don’t hugely mind.

    1. Funny isn’t it, they were boasting about how they built the Jeddah circuit in 6 months, but this one will take 3 years, having already procrastinated for a year!

      1. @eurobrun being a street track, they didn’t have to build the facilities that a permanent track needs.

        Qiddiya is a massive development (think Yas Marina in the middle of the desert) and the F1 track is merely part of it. Similar to Abu Dhabi, it’s gimmicky with lots of infrastructure around (and over!) the track.

        1. @gardenfella72 Some facilities, like pit building, yes, but otherwise everything spot-on.
          A mega-project featuring more than one thing within a given area can easily take more time than expected.

          1. I forgot to tag you @eurobrun

  5. When you boycott Russia for crimes against humanity, you have to boycott Saudi Arabia…

  6. They may have found some very serious issues to cause such a massive delay. The last time I worked on a project that went down the crapper so badly was a 32 kilometre rail line. The primary contractor failed at every pre-start inspection to identify potential issues that could cause a holdup, near-zero due diligence It went from a 2 yr project to 5 and near tripled in cost.
    But hey oil money we’re all paying for this :))

    1. Crossrail?

      1. @bradders Southern Sydney Freight Line, it was an ARTC project being built in the RailCorp (the state rail transport authority) corridor. I was one of two Safety Advisors overseeing compliance for RailCorp.

  7. Must admit I’m not too upset, it’s only based on one race but this is a great circuit I don’t want to lose.

  8. I doubt there will be a Saudi GP in five years let alone three

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