2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Fast Facts

F1 Grand Prix Of Saudi Arabia - Jeddah Street Circuit
F1 Grand Prix Of Saudi Arabia - Jeddah Street Circuit

The Formula 1 world is looking to put a week of turmoil and scandals behind it with an electrifying weekend under the lights of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The Jeddah Corniche Circuit, known for its high-speed straights and challenging corners, is set to host the second race of the 2024 F1 season, promising a spectacle of speed.

With Max Verstappen starting the year in dominant fashion, this weekend’s race is poised to be a pivotal early battle in the fight for championship glory.

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Scheduling

The 2024 Formula 1 calendar has seen a unique adjustment for the first two races of the season, with Bahrain and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix race weekends scheduled from Thursday to Saturday, rather than the traditional Friday to Sunday format. This change comes in respect of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins on March 9th. As the global spectacle of F1 aligns with cultural observances, fans and teams alike are adapting to the shifted schedule, ensuring that the excitement of the race remains uninterrupted while honoring the period of reflection and fasting. The weekend promises to deliver all the thrilling action that F1 is renowned for, albeit on a slightly altered timetable.

Below are the local session times for the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend:

Mar 7Practice 116:30 – 17:30
Mar 7Practice 220:00 – 21:00
Mar 8Practice 316:30 – 17:30
Mar 8Qualifying20:00 – 21:00
Mar 9Race20:00

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Betting

For those looking to bet on the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen leads the pack as the clear frontrunner, with odds set at -450, meaning that a bet of $450 is required to win $100. Hot on his heels, Sergio Perez holds the position of second favourite, with odds of +900.

Following them is Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who comes in at +1400, and his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., who, after securing a podium finish in Bahrain, has odds of +2500.

Lando Norris of McLaren finds himself in the mix with odds of +2200, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton trails slightly behind at +2800, as per the latest F1 betting odds for this weekend.

When searching for an outlet to place your wager, look for places offering free bonus bets to help maximise your spend.

How to Watch the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Formula 1 fans around the globe can catch all the action from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix through various broadcasters and streaming services.

In the United Kingdom, viewers can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1, with comprehensive coverage of the practice sessions, qualifying, and the race itself.

For fans in the United States, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be available through ESPN and its associated channels. ESPN offers extensive coverage of F1, including live broadcasts and replays. Cord-cutters can also stream the race live through various over-the-top (OTT) services that carry ESPN channels.

Viewers in Australia can tune in to watch the Grand Prix weekend unfold live on Fox Sports, which offers complete coverage of F1 races. For online streaming, fans can subscribe to Kayo Sports, a streaming platform that includes all Fox Sports content.

Additionally, F1 TV Pro offers live streaming of every track session to viewers in many countries worldwide and is offering an F1 TV Pro Free Trial for this weekend only.

This subscription service provides access to onboard cameras, team radios, live timing, and more, for an immersive viewing experience.

Remember to check the local listings and services for the most up-to-date information regarding broadcast times and availability in your region.

Max Verstappen Looking To Extend Championship Lead

Having laid down a marker last weekend in Bahrain, three-time World Champion Max Verstappen is looking to break hearts and extend his lead in his quest for a fourth straight title.

‘The Team had a great first race of the season and I am looking forward to Jeddah, which is a proper high speed semi street circuit, seeing less degradation on the tyres. It is going to be a bit warmer too compared to Bahrain, so will be interesting to see the difference in performance between all teams, as the track layout is completely different to last week. Last year it was a good track for us so let’s hope we can do something similar and secure a great performance for the Team.’

Mercedes Trying To Find Their Cool

For Mercedes, a strong pre-season followed by solid performances in practice and qualifying were undone in Bahrain when their engine temperatures soared, putting both cars out of the fight for a podium finish.

“Our race in Bahrain was best described as underwhelming. We were hopeful of a stronger showing after our performance in practice and qualifying. Both drivers were pleased with the balance earlier in the weekend, and the more stable platform provided by the W15. Unfortunately on Saturday evening, our cooling performance didn’t match our predictions. That forced us into management mode early on, which had the knock-on impact of reducing tyre temperatures below optimum. That cost us the opportunity to show something closer to our true potential. It was a frustrating way to start the season but one we will learn from.

“We’ve got an opportunity to take a step forward immediately. Jeddah is a street track with a lot of high-speed content. It will be good to continue our learning with the new car on a very different circuit to Bahrain. We will be aiming for a more consistent weekend and to understand our true performance relative to the rest of the grid.

“It will also be great to see F1 Academy on the support bill in Saudi Arabia for their opening round. For the first time, we will be involved as a team. We’re excited to watch our junior driver Doriane Pin in action and look forward to supporting the championship across the year,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Another Podium For Ferrari?

Ferrari looks to be the ‘best of the rest’ in the fight between the Maranello-based outfit, Mercedes, and McLaren for second in the Constructor’s Championship.

Team Principal Fred Vasseur is expecting Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc to be at the pointy end again this weekend.

“The first race of the season confirmed that we worked in the right direction over the winter. In Sakhir, we saw that the gaps in qualifying have closed up even more, although the distance to Max Verstappen in the race is still significant. However, it’s encouraging that we have reduced that gap compared to last year, which is a good starting point.

“In Jeddah we will face a completely different test and we want to check if the positive signs we have seen from the SF-24 in the past couple of weeks are repeated on this very different track. The track surface is very smooth so tyre degradation should be negligible, while for the first time we will deal with very high speed corners that will highlight the cars’ downforce and aerodynamic efficiency.

“Charles and Carlos have always gone well at the Jeddah Corniche and I expect them to be front-runners again, although once again it will all be very close. They should be able to do well in both qualifying and the race.”

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Fast Facts

  • The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is held on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, located in a waterfront area next to the Red Sea.
  • The location presents similar challenges to Abu Dhabi with sand blowing onto the track and changes in wind direction from day to night.
  • The Jeddah Corniche Circuit has the most corners of any track on the F1 calendar with 27: 16 left and 11 right.
  • It is also the second-longest track F1 visits at 6.174km. Energy management across the lap is therefore tricky and puts more focus on the MGU-H and hybrid system performance.
  • With numerous long straights, drivers spend over 70% of the lap at full throttle and the circuit is ranked third in terms of time spent, and distance covered, using this metric.
  • There are six braking events across the lap with two of those designated as ‘heavy’.
  • Turn 13 has a 12% gradient, with banked corners opening up more lines and helping to build momentum onto the next sweeping, high-speed section.
  • Turn 2 is the slowest corner on the circuit, taken around 80 km/h, whilst the quickest are Turns 20, 21, and 26 which are taken at close to or over 300 km/h.
  • Sensitivity, which describes where you find lap time, is biased very strongly towards high-speed corner performance.
  • Owing to its nature as a street circuit, Jeddah has a high risk of incidents leading to Safety Cars. Across the three previous races in Saudi Arabia, there have been four full Safety Car periods, and two red flags.
  • Several track changes were made for the 2023 race in order “to deliver smoother, safer, and even more exciting racing.”
  • These included:
    • ‘Rumble Lines’ – which cause traction to be lost and thus slowing cars down were added at Turns 3, 14, 19, 20, and 21.
    • Steel kerbs replaced bevelled kerbs at Turns 4, 8, 10, 11, 17, and 23.
    • Driver sightlines were improved with the fence wall moved back at Turns 14 and 20 by 7.5m and 5m respectively.
    • The fence wall at Turns 8 and 10 was also adjusted to improve visibility of the corner ahead.
  • Turns 22 and 23 were amended with the fence at Turn 23 adjusted and a bevelled kerb added – that helped reduce speeds by approximately 50 km/h
  • This is the fourth Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, there have been three different winners from the first three editions of the event – Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, and Sergio Perez.
  • The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix first appeared on the calendar as the penultimate race of the season in 2021, but has been the second race on the calendar for the last two seasons.
  • This will be the 42nd Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.
  • Lewis Hamilton’s 103rd and most recent victory was in Jeddah in 2021.
  • Sergio Perez was victorious in last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and claimed his first two career pole positions at the circuit in 2022 and 2023, as well as being the all-time lap leader of the racetrack, leading 61 overall.
  • Max Verstappen can reach 100 career podium finishes with a top three finish in Saudi Arabia.
  • Max Verstappen has finished the last 42 consecutive races, a streak 28 races longer than any other driver on the grid.
  • Oracle Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen have now led the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships for 40 consecutive races, having both assumed the lead following Max and Checo’s 1-2 finish in the 2022 Spanish GP.
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