Jeddah track will be ‘fastest street circuit’, claims F1

Plans for the Jeddah street circuit has been announced, ahead of the inaugural Saudi Arabian GP in December this year.

It claims to be the fastest street circuit in F1 and from the design it certainly seems like it could take that mantle, although overtaking could be difficult as there looks to be few heavy braking zone or chances for cars to get alongside.

The Jeddah circuit is set to host two Grand Prixes before the Saudi race moves to a purpose-built circuit near the capital city, Riyadh, that Alex Wurz has been involved in designing.

However, there’s been criticism over the decision to allow Saudi Arabia to host a Grand Prix given its poor human rights record, and in February 50 Arab NGOs signed an open letter to Lewis Hamilton asking him not to participate in the event.

The opening round of the Formula E season took place in Diriyah two weeks ago and was marred by news that rebel groups had launched missiles at the paddock, alongside some uncomfortable crashes.

The 6.175km track could feature three DRS zones: on the home straight, from turns 18-22 and from turns 25-27.

The circuit could provide some stunning visuals but may not provide the most exciting racing but with plenty of medium-speed corners that the current F1 cars find it notoriously difficult to follow each other through.

In the marketing it’s claimed there’s 27 corners with 16 left and 11 right-handers although they’ve been rather liberal with what a corner is – turns like 11 and 26 appear to just barely change direction, and the second DRS zone apparently goes through four corners.

This may be a circuit that fits more with the 2022 spec of cars being brought in, if they’re able to follow closer as intended. However, that seems a strange decision given it’s only intended to host one Grand Prix in that era.