Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023, comes to the seaside town of Corniche, some 30km away from Jeddah. Hosting Round 2 of 23 of the Formula One World Championship, The track is fast and flowing with 27 corners most of them taken flat out. In this section, we look into the geography and characteristics of the Jeddah Corniche F1 circuit set to host the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Track
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is, you won’t be surprised to hear, a temporary street circuit (albeit adorned with some permanent sections), located on the Corniche – a 30km coastal resort area of the ancient Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.
The Saudi Arabian Gp track is the first to use LED floodlights to reduce glare and light pollution. With 627 light poles around the track, each light has 1500 Vertical and Horizontal Luminance in power. The track is designed with interlocking elements since it’s a semi-permanent venture. The FIA fence elements are 4m by 3.5 m and weigh over 4 tons for each piece.
The Saudi Arabian Gp track uses the new safer barrier system like in the Zandvoort circuit and more like the ones used in Nascar Racing. This was introduced in Baku for the first time and is successful ever since. S.A.F.E.R barrier stands for “steel and foram energy reduction barrier”
The other Tecpro barrier is used for other runoffs and long radius corners like many other circuits. Though rains are not an option in the desert, since we are in a global warming catastrophe the circuit has been designed to drain 150 L/s. There are 3 bridges and a hospitality suite above the track in 4 locations which gives a great vantage point.
Track Characteristics of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Fast. Very fast. Average speeds around the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Track are set to be 252km/h – quicker than those at Silverstone, and second on the 2023 calendar only next to Monza – aka ‘The Temple of Speed’. It will, quite simply, be the fastest street circuit ever seen in Formula 1 – while the track will also feature the most corners on the 2023 calendar with 27, many of them quick, sinuous bends as the drivers wend their way along the Jeddah waterfront.
The average speeds around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit will be such that any grandstand should provide a spectacular viewing location. Nonetheless, the gladiatorial splendour of the grandstand surrounding the banked Turn 13 corner will make for an exceptional spot for F1 fans.
With 3 DRS zones in the circuit, it is going to be a super DRS train since it’s impossible to overtake without being on top of each other. but there are some wide enough places like turn 13 and Turn 27 where the drivers lunge into the inside.
Changes to Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Track
After drawing criticism from some drivers several track changes have been carried out at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit ahead of the 2023 edition of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, race promoter Saudi Motorsport Company has confirmed.
The biggest changes are at the high-speed left-right sequence at Turns 22 and 23, where efforts have been made to reduce speeds by around 50km/h by adjusting the fence placement and adding a bevelled kerb.
Changes have also been made at Turns 14 and 20, two of the quickest blind corners on the circuit, where the fences have been pushed back to open up the corner more and provide better sightlines to the drivers.
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Track Turn 14: Photo by: Saudi Motorsport Company
At Turn 14, the wall on the right-hand side of the track has been pushed back by 7.5 metres, while the left-hand wall at Turn 20 has moved back by five metres. The walls have also been pushed back at Turns 8 and 10 to improve visibility.
Bevelled kerbs have also been added at Turns 4, 8, 10, 11, 17 and 23, while new ‘rumble lines’ have been placed at Turns 3, 14, 19, 20 and 21 to deter drivers from running wide and slow them down.
“The evolution of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit continues apace and we are excited to add these further tweaks to our magnificent track as a result of positive consultation with the FIA, F1 and the drivers,”Martin Whitaker, chief executive of the Saudi Motorsport Company.
Saudi Arabian grand prix schedule
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix live in F1 Pro