JEDDAH: The designers of the Jeddah Corniche circuit, the fastest street track in the history of Formula One, say they are proud of what they have achieved in the Red Sea city.
The F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix circuit was designed by the Tilke Family, who have also been responsible for F1 circuits in Bahrain, Shanghai and the Americas.
“We came in January 2021, and we had this plan with the Ministry of Sports, the FIA itself and Saudi motorsport authorities to build a beautiful F1 track on the Jeddah corniche front,” Hisham Atya, architect and senior project manager at Tilke & Co., told Arab News.
“It was spectacular because it was built in due time of seven months or so, and it was done, of course, thanks to all the different entities that made it happen.”
A Jeddah F1 race goes for 50 laps across the 6.175 km track, making it the second longest on the motorsport’s calendar.
“It’s kind of this hybrid of a street circuit and a permanent track, but more kind of inclined to the temporary circuit with all the safety installation,” Atya said.
“It’s become a track of discussion, it’s become a track of noise and sound, it has spectacular views and it has a couple of interesting corners to it,” he added.
The track also holds the number one spot when it comes to the number of turns with 27, and top speeds of 322 km/h.
“We have T13, a spectacular turn with a 12 percent slope. We have this kind of splitting of the sea turn from 23 to 27,” Atya said.
“The Red Sea on the right to the left is your lagoon, we have one of the most spectacular paddock club experiences with a quite a fairly large pit building.
“And we have an intimate paddock section where the drivers and the team principals and the mechanics and the spectators have a relationship and kind of get intimate with each other.
“It’s a cultural track, too, for many reasons and what makes it special is that there’s three mosques on the track, the aggregates come from Makkah, so it has kind of this richness to it,” he added.
Atya believes that the Jeddah Corniche circuit has enhanced the urban fabric of the city, and also told Arab News that there is a difference between this year’s track and last year’s.
“There were modifications that came from the FIA, from F1 and from my still as well,” he said.
“And it was kind of a combination of dialogue that came together to enhance the safety measures when it came to visibility, when it came to the rumble lines to the beveled curbs, so it’s been a combination of a lot of factors to enhance the track’s safety,” he added.