Saudi GP Layout Unveiled
The FIA, along with the organizers of the 2021 Saudi Arabia GP, have announced the track layout for the first upcoming Formula 1 race in the Kingdom.
Written by Hafiz Akbar, Daniel Yi, Edited by Justin Tan
The track will be mainly centered around the coastal district of Jeddah, giving a Monaco-esque vibe to it, minus the history. It will stretch for a total of roughly 5 kilometres and will feature a whopping 27 turns which makes it the track with the most corners on the calendar, surpassing Singapore’s 23 corners. This will provide some exciting overtaking opportunities for the drivers and the fans alike. This circuit has been touted as the fastest street track in Formula 1 so far.
Jeddah features very little straights and no back straight so to speak. The track’s first three corners feature a chicane reminiscent of Monza’s Variante del Rettifilo, except that it is a left-to-right chicane. The first sector seems fairly low-speed, with turns 4-10 having a couple of chicanes somewhat resembling a combination of Monaco’s swimming pool section and Marina Bay’s turns 16-18. Turns 11-12 are high speed and fairly straight, leading to a hairpin of sorts at turn 13, where we expect to see some overtaking. Turns 14-24 run along the coastside area and are a combination of high-speed esses with a slight resemblance to Suzuka and Maggots and Becketts complexes. This successive squiggle of corners leads to turns 25 and 26, a long flowing left-hander taken at full throttle before finally reaching the hairpin of turn 27 with a heavy braking zone. This is another section to provide good overtaking opportunities. The exit of turn 27 leads us directly onto the main straight towards the finish line and thus completing a lap of Jeddah.
Although plagued with controversy surrounding the addition of the Saudi GP to the F1 calendar and the circumstances behind it, it will remain to be seen whether this track will live up to its hype or not.