The fastest-ever Formula 1 street track in F1 history has been revealed for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah, set to take place from December 3 to 5 later this year.
The 6.175-kilometre Jeddah street circuit with 27 corners will be the second-longest track on the calendar, behind Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, and will also be one of the fastest, boasting an average speed of over 250 km/h.
“The design brings out the best of a modern street circuit but also has fast paced free flowing areas that will create fast speeds and overtaking opportunities,” Ross Brawn, F1’s motorsport managing director said.
“The setting is incredible, on the Red Sea, and we can’t wait to see the cars on track in December.”
The track will be the third to be inaugurated in the Middle East, behind the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir and the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Located in Jeddah’s posh Corniche area, almost 12 kilometres north of the city centre, the circuit flanks the Red Sea and a lagoon, with three potential Drag Reduction System (DRS) zones.
“We are looking forward to welcoming motorsport fans to Saudi Arabia,” said Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, president of the Saudi Automobile and Motorsport Federation.
“Next December will be a huge moment, when we host Formula 1, the biggest event in motorsports (Formula 1).
“Even though this is the first time we will host a Formula 1 Grand Prix, delivering such important international events is further confirmation of the Kingdom’s ability to manage and organise these events to the highest standards for our fans and growing young population.”
The circuit is unlike many street circuits in that it integrates existing roads as much as possible yet remains fast flowing in character.
Previously, the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan was the longest and second-fastest street track on the calendar, but the Jeddah track’s 6.175-kilometre length and simulated speeds of up to 252.8 km/h unseat the 6.003-kilometre track’s average speeds of 215 km/h.
The Jeddah track also has more corners than any other current circuit, however many of these corners will feel like straights, contributing to the high average speed.
Racing is set to take place at night, like the Bahrain and Singapore Grands-Prix.
When the race was initially announced, Prince Khalid told reporters: “We don’t have a rich motorsport heritage, but in a short space of time as a federation we’ve earned a strong reputation of delivering world-class international events such as Formula E and the Dakar Rally.”