Jeddah Street Circuit

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The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a prominent feature in the world of Formula One, having made its debut on the international stage with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on December 5, 2021. Situated along the Red Sea in the port city of Jeddah, this circuit is a fusion of temporary street track sections and permanent racetrack features. Its design, a collaborative effort between Tilke Engineering and Formula One’s Motorsports team, has created a layout that emphasizes the high-speed characteristics of motorsport racing.

Spanning a length of 6.174 kilometers (approximately 3.836 miles), the track claims the title of the second-longest circuit in the Formula One calendar. Characterized by its high-speed straights and technically demanding corners, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit offers an average lap speed that is one of the fastest in Formula One, pushing close to 245 kilometers per hour (around 151 miles per hour). This design provides a unique challenge to drivers and teams alike, seeking to maximize their vehicles’ performance within the constraints of the circuit’s demanding layout.

Set against a picturesque backdrop with sections along the coastal Corniche area of Jeddah, the circuit is not only a technical masterpiece but also provides a visually stunning experience. The location takes advantage of the seaside setting, incorporating views of the Red Sea and the area’s natural beauty into the race experience. The Jeddah Street Circuit has quickly become synonymous with high-speed action and competitive excitement.

Overview of Jeddah Street Circuit

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The Jeddah Corniche Circuit, located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is recognized as the fastest street track in Formula One. Situated adjacent to the scenic Red Sea, it presents a unique coastal racing experience in the Corniche area, a well-known coastal resort region. Inaugurated in December 2021, the circuit instantly earned a reputation for its remarkable speed and challenging layout.

Specifications

  • Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Length: 6.174 km (3.836 miles)
  • Turns: 27
  • Surface: Asphalt
  • Lap Record: 1:30.734 (set by Lewis Hamilton in 2021, F1)

Designed by renowned architect Carsten Tilke, the circuit is currently the third-longest in the F1 calendar. Its design resulted in a high-speed layout comprising 27 turns, featuring sweeping bends that accommodate intense racing and potential DRS zones encouraging overtaking. The Jeddah Street Circuit emphasizes minimal changes in gradient, largely laying flat.

Major Events

  • Current: Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, GT World Challenge Europe, and other racing series.
  • Former: WTCR Race of Saudi Arabia in 2022.

The track configuration not only accentuates the region’s natural beauty but also promises to deliver exhilarating motorsport action. As part of its complex design, the Jeddah Street Circuit holds a significant place in the racing realm, hosting global events and setting benchmarks in the world of high-speed street racing.

History and Development

The Jeddah Street Circuit, a landmark in motorsport history, exemplifies the rapid development and profound vision that have come together to create the world’s fastest street racing circuit.

Inaugural Event

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix marked its debut at the Jeddah Street Circuit on December 5, 2021. This event was a significant milestone for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the event organized under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal, a key figure in the country’s motorsport narrative. The Saudi Automobile & Motorsport Federation (SAMF) played a crucial role in bringing this global event to fruition, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s growing presence in the domain of international racing.

Tilke’s Design Vision

The visionary behind the Jeddah Street Circuit’s design is Carsten Tilke, the son of the renowned circuit designer Hermann Tilke. His firm, Tilke GmbH & Co. KG, is responsible for crafting many of the modern circuits in Formula 1. Ross Brawn, Formula 1 Managing Director of Motorsports, was actively involved in the feasibility analysis of creating the circuit. Their joint efforts resulted in a track that is fast, with sweeping bends and long straights, lying largely flat along the Red Sea coast. Their design philosophy aimed not only to challenge the drivers with the circuit’s high-speed nature but also to create a spectacle that would be unique in the realm of street racing.

F1 Grand Prix Of Saudi Arabia

Circuit Specifications

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a marvel of modern motorsports engineering, boasting impressive specifications that make it a standout in the Formula One race calendar. Its length, number of corners, and direction are designed to test the limits of the world’s best drivers.

Circuit Length

The circuit stretches over 6.175 kilometers (3.836 miles), making it the second-longest track currently used in Formula One. Its considerable length contributes to the high-speed nature of the race, challenging drivers with a blend of high-speed sections and technical turns.

Number of Corners

A total of 27 corners twist through the circuit, offering a mix of high, medium, and low-speed turns. This varied landscape requires precision and agility from the drivers as they navigate each lap. The circuit’s combination of corners includes both left and right turns, demanding a high level of skill and concentration to tackle.

Direction

Races on the Jeddah Street Circuit run in a clockwise direction. This orientation, combined with the circuit’s layout and the drivers’ need to make strategic use of DRS zones, results in an average speed of nearly 245 km/h (151 mph) around a lap, cementing the track’s reputation as one of the fastest street circuits in the world.

F1 Grand Prix Of Saudi Arabia

Racing Events

The Jeddah Street Circuit has distinguished itself as a premium location for world-class racing events, primarily hosting Formula 1’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and setting a benchmark for thrilling motorsports achievements.

Formula 1 Grand Prix

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is a centerpiece event at the Jeddah Street Circuit, featuring the pinnacle of automotive engineering and driving excellence in Formula 1. This event debuted in December 2021 as part of the Formula One season. Known for being one of the fastest street circuits in the F1 calendar, it provides a high-speed challenge for the drivers and an enthralling experience for fans.

  • First F1 Event: 2021
  • Characteristics: High speeds, night race
  • Notable Aspect: One of the fastest street circuits in F1

Other Motorsports Events

While the Jeddah Street Circuit is primarily known for the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, it is also equipped to host a range of other motorsports events. This may include but is not limited to, potential races from the Formula E series, known for promoting electric vehicle technology and sustainable racing. Events from other motorsports categories may also find a place in the future activity of the circuit, leveraging its modern facilities and enthusiastic audience base.

Track Features

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a testament to modern circuit design, melding high-speed thrills with technical prowess. Set against the Red Sea, it provides a unique spectacle of night-time racing where precision meets the demands of wheel-to-wheel action.

Fast Sections

The Jeddah circuit stands out for its high-speed stretches. It is one of the quickest street tracks in the Formula 1 calendar with sections where cars reach speeds upwards of 245 km/h (151 mph). These fast sections test a driver’s nerve, as the proximity of barriers leaves no room for error. The long, flowing nature of the track, combined with its series of rapid, uninterrupted turns, makes for exhilarating and consistent wheel-to-wheel racing opportunities.

Technical Segments

Despite the predominance of speed, the circuit contains 27 corners, each offering a different technical challenge. The variety in corner design—from sweeping curves to tight hairpins—demands acute precision from drivers. Navigating these technical segments successfully requires a blend of bravery and meticulousness, where the right balance can lead to crucial overtaking maneuvers.

DRS Zones

DRS (Drag Reduction System) zones play a pivotal role in overtaking strategies at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. These zones are strategically placed to maximize overtaking potential and are integral in creating close, competitive racing. On this street circuit, DRS enables drivers to close the gap to competitors in front, turning the already fast sections into high-stake opportunities for position gains.

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Fan Engagement

The Jeddah Street Circuit has been specifically designed to offer an immersive experience for motorsport fans. By leveraging the scenic location and modern technology, the circuit aims to provide an unparalleled viewing experience both in-person and for the global audience.

Attendance and Viewing Experience

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit, located in the picturesque Corniche area, offers fans an array of interactive activities. The circuit’s setting along the Red Sea offers a unique combination of high-speed thrills for Formula 1 enthusiasts and an ambient environment for casual visitors. Attendance at the night race is marked by a sense of pride and amazement, with Formula 1 fans expressing their excitement over the modern amenities and the strategic organization of the circuit. Activities available at the venue cater to both kids and adults, including:

  • Interactive games: to engage fans in motorsport-themed challenges.
  • Rides: for an adrenaline-packed experience, complementing the fast-paced action of F1 races.

The circuit’s design, which supports high speeds and features multiple overtaking points, has been praised for enhancing the on-site spectator experience. Additionally, the Jeddah Street Circuit is equipped with 5G technology, promising a high-tech and seamless experience for attendees.

Global Audience

A significant consideration in the circuit’s design is its appeal to a global audience. The Jeddah Street Circuit races are major events in the Formula One calendar and are broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide. Key features intended to attract and retain the attention of these viewers include:

  • High-speed sections and 27 challenging corners that showcase driver skill and car performance.
  • Strategic placement of three possible DRS (Drag Reduction System) zones to encourage overtaking and enhance the spectacle of racing.

The choice of a night race not only adds dramatic flair but also allows the event to be scheduled at times that maximize its reach to international audiences. The illuminated circuit against the night sky offers a visually stunning experience for fans watching from home. This spectacle, combined with the circuit’s location in a vibrant urban setting, serves to captivate and grow the global fanbase of both Formula 1 and motorsport in general.

Economic Impact

The inauguration of the Jeddah Street Circuit signals a significant boost to the economic landscape of Saudi Arabia, particularly enhancing Jeddah’s economic development and drawing attention to the global motorsports arena.

Local Economy

Jeddah, as Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub, became host to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit with the aim of expanding its economic horizons. The circuit’s construction and the subsequent races have infused capital into the local economy through job creation, tourism, and increased international exposure. Investment in infrastructure and commercial activities surrounding event times have also had a stimulative effect. A clear testament to this are the sectors that have seen growth, such as hospitality, transport, and retail; each has witnessed a surge due to the influx of team personnel, media, and race fans.

  • Hospitality: Increase in demand for accommodation and dining experiences.
  • Transportation: Growth in the use of local transport services.
  • Retail: Surge in sales during race events.

Global Motorsports

The introduction of the Jeddah Street Circuit to the Formula One calendar has entrenched Saudi Arabia in the global motorsports scene. By hosting a Grand Prix, Saudi competes on an international stage, influencing the motorsports market and providing opportunities for local motorsports teams. The circuit, touted to be one of the fastest street circuits in the Formula One roster, not only elevates Saudi Arabia’s profile but also contributes to global motorsports by offering a state-of-the-art racing experience that can attract sponsorships and partnerships with international companies within the automotive industry.

  • Sponsorships: Attracting global brands to Saudi-based events.
  • Partnerships: Opportunities with international motorsports teams and companies.

Jeddah Street Circuit – Frequently Asked Questions

This section aims to provide clear and concise answers to common inquiries about the Jeddah Street Circuit, enhancing your understanding of this modern motor racing venue.

Is Jeddah a true street circuit?

Yes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit is classified as a street circuit because it is laid out on public roads along Jeddah’s waterfront, which are temporarily closed for racing events.

Is the Jeddah Corniche Circuit permanent?

No, while the infrastructure might remain in place year-round, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit is not a permanent racetrack. It is assembled for specific events such as the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and is characterized by public roads forming the track.

Can you visit Jeddah Corniche Circuit?

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is comprised of public roads, so it is accessible to the public when Formula 1 or other racing events are not taking place. However, during events, the area is restricted to ticket holders and authorized personnel.

Why is Jeddah called a street circuit?

Jeddah is called a street circuit because its layout consists of public streets that are transformed into a competitive racetrack. This allows the circuit to pass through urban areas and along the scenic coastline, offering a unique racing experience.

Where can I buy tickets to the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix?

Tickets to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix can be purchased through the event’s official website or authorized ticket vendors. It is advisable to buy tickets well in advance, as the event attracts a large audience and tickets may sell out quickly.

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