Formula 1 made its first visit to Saudi Arabia in 2021 with a race at Jeddah Corniche Circuit – a temporary street track in the country’s second largest city.
Jeddah Corniche Circuit, which is located on the banks of the Red Sea, is the fastest street racing circuit in the world. With average speeds of over 250km/h, the 6.175km circuit is the second longest venue on the F1 calendar – with only Spa Francorchamps having a longer lap length. The circuit’s anti-clockwise layout features no fewer than 27 corners and is a real challenge for the drivers – especially with the race being held at night, under floodlights.
Saudi Arabia’s addition to the Formula 1 calendar had long been rumoured, so the announcement that the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix would join the calendar came as no surprise when it was announced in November 2020. It is believed that the event has a contract to remain on the calendar for at least the next decade.
Saudi Arabia does not have a long history with motorsport – though notably, the Race of Champions and the Dakar Rally have both taken place in the country in recent years. Formula E also holds an annual race in Diriyah. Formula 1’s presence in Saudi Arabia has been criticised due to the country’s poor history with human rights. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both condemned the decision to race in Saudi Arabia, though organisers have denied any claims of “sportswashing”.
Jeddah Corniche Circuit may not stay on the F1 calendar for too long. A new motorsport complex is being built outside of Qiddiya, conceived by former F1 driver Alexander Wurz. The circuit is designed to FIA Grade 1 standards and is expected to open in 2023. It is understood to be an option to become the permanent host of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in the near future.
Upcoming events at Jeddah Corniche Circuit
Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a temporary circuit, used only by Formula 1. The second running of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place on March 25-27, 2022.
How to get there
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a temporary race track in the Corniche area of Jeddah.
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is located in the Corniche area of Jeddah, around 20km north of the city centre. The closest airport is King Abdulaziz International Airport, which is located around 20km north east of the Corniche area of Jeddah.
The 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix will mark the first time that Formula 1 has raced in Jeddah. It is not yet known where the best access points to the circuit will be – or what effect road closures will have on travelling around the city.
Where to stay
Jeddah is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia. There are plenty of accommodation options for your trip to the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. Hotels in the area are generally affordable, though you can expect a hike in prices for bookings over the race weekend.
The city’s most luxurious hotels can be found south of the circuit, in the Al-Hamra’a and Al-Ruwais districts. There are good options closer to the circuit too. Jeddah’s Hilton hotel is located on Corniche Road – which will form part of the circuit.