With the aim to be different from other circuits, the Jeddah Corniche Street Circuit provides a new kind of thrill and excitement. Located on the Corniche of port city Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the circuit offers brilliant views of the historical city and the Red Sea. The circuit has made history despite only opening its gates in December 2021 and being a temporary circuit.
The Jeddah Corniche Street Circuit was designed by Tilke GmbH & Co. with Hermann Tilke’s own son Carsten Tilke in charge. Carsten aimed to create a circuit “the world has never seen before”. With such a talented team like this, the circuit is the fastest and most thrilling ever seen on F1. With fast sweeping corners, a series of switchbacks and a long-radius hairpin turn, it is true that this street circuit is far different from any of the others we have seen before. The circuit has proven to be a challenge for the drivers, as proven during its debut race.
During the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on 5th December 2021 the turns and overtaking opportunities made for a riveting race. Namely the battle for first place between Hamilton, Verstrappen and Bottas. Lap 36 and 37 were especially tense when the sudden slow down by Verstrappen caught Hamilton off guard. Ultimately this led to Hamilton clipping the rear of Verstrappen’s vehicle, causing front right wing damage to Hamiton’s. The tension between the three came to a tipping point on Lap 43 on Turn 27; the last and fastest turn in the entire circuit. After building tensions throughout the race, Hamilton managed to push Verstrappen into a wide turn, losing valuable time. Ultimately the results came in with Hamilton in first place, followed by Verstrappen and Bottas respectively.
Tragically, a week before the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, Sir Frank Williams, founder of the Williams Formula One Team, died at age 79. In respect, the teams paid tributes on their cars and a minute's silence was held an hour before the race.
Sir Frank Williams was an idol to artist Kevin McNicholas, you can read about their partnership here.
As well as being the fastest street circuit on the Formula One calendar, the Jeddah Corniche Street Circuit also boasts the most turns. With 27 turns the drivers weave around the circuit at high speeds that surpass speeds at Silverstone. The circuit kicks off the race with a left-right kink on the first corner. Swiftly followed by a series of switchbacks on Turn 4 which severely punish even the smallest of mistakes. Into Turn 13, the drivers must tackle a long-radius hairpin turn on a 12 degree bank. This high-speed turn offers a great opportunity for the spectators as they get to see the cars race by. Further on, Turn 22 coasts along the edge of the cliffside overlooking the Red Sea. But the drivers won’t be paying much attention to the view.
In addition to having the most corners and possessing the fastest average speed of 250km/h (155mph), the track is also the longest street circuit in the Formula One calendar. With just over 6km (3.8miles) of track, the circuit is 100 metres longer than the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan.
Read about the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan here.
Overall, the drivers must race 50 laps, equalling over 300km of road. An impressive feat for these skilled drivers. However, Carsten Tilke admitted himself that although this circuit is demanding, it will be seriously “rewarding for those who can master all 27 turns”. As always, we are on the edge of our seats to see our favourite drivers race around this phenomenal circuit.