Saudi Arabia, who will host the first ever Jeddah Formula One Grand Prix, revealed the new circuit, which is set to be the ‘fastest street track’ of the season.
The circuit consists of 27 turns with a length of 3.8 miles. With a speed of 250kph (155mph), the track can potentially provide three DRS zones in the long straights.
The second-longest track of the season, after that of Belgian Spa-Francorchamps, features high-speed esses and several chicanes.
Formula One Managing Director of Motorsport Ross Brawn said: “It’s always very exciting to release the details of a new circuit and the Saudi Arabia street circuit is no exception.
“We have worked very closely with the team at Tilke and with the promoter to ensure we have a track that provides exciting wheel-to-wheel racing for our fans and challenges of all the drivers.
“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. The setting is incredible, on the Red Sea, and we can’t wait to see the cars on the track in December.”
The drivers will take on this brand new circuit in Saudi Arabia, which is the third country to host a Formula One Grand Prix in the Middle East after Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, on the 3rd to 5th December.
Saudi Arabia has also recently hosted the Formula E and the Dakar Rally.
This Grand Prix has raised controversy regarding the human rights issues that Saudi Arabia hold leading to Formula One being accused of ‘sportswashing’ the country’s image by the Amnesty International UK.
A Formula One spokesperson said in response: “For decades, Formula One has worked hard to be a positive force everywhere it races, including economic, social and cultural benefits. Sports like Formula One are uniquely positioned to cross borders and cultures to bring countries and communities together to share the passion and excitement of incredible competition achievement.
“We take our responsibilities very seriously and have made our position on human rights and other issues clear to all our partners and host countries who commit to respect human rights in the way their events are hosted and delivered.”
During the 2018 French Grand Prix, Aseel Al-Hamad became the first Saudi woman to drive a Renault F1 Car as she demonstrated some laps. This was on the same day that Saudi Arabia started allowing women to get their drivers’ licence.
Author: Catherine Micallef