JEDDAH: The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is preparing to host the 2023 Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the third international racing event hosted by the Red Sea coastal city, which will be held on March 17-19 amid global anticipation for the prominent sporting event.
CEO of the Saudi Motorsports Company Martin Whitaker confirmed that the work now underway aims to extend the life of the racetrack and make it more exciting to ensure better viewing for audiences around the world, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
He said that work has been done with the International Automobile Federation and Formula 1 to ensure that there was a circuit that allowed races to be organized for many years in Jeddah.
Whitaker said that work has begun on the circuit in Qiddiya using a pioneering design in setting up Formula 1 circuits and entertainment events, and Qiddiya would be a site that everyone would want to visit.
He added that the work that was done on the Jeddah Corniche circuit during the past ten months aims to make some small changes to the turns, to improve the drivers’ lines of visibility, especially when driving at 200 miles an hour and only two inches off the ground, so being able to see the next section of the race course becomes critical.
The barriers had been moved back in a number of turns, and in some cases moved back five to seven meters to allow for forward vision while drivers enjoyed the challenge of the track, he said.
Whitaker said that the Saudi Formula 1 was one of the largest sporting events hosted by the Kingdom, and had become a catalyst for expanding the circle of interest in the sport. Karting circuits also attracted more visitors, in addition to the growing interest in Formula E, Extreme E and the Saudi Dakar Rally.
The event had also received “growing interest from the business sector and car manufacturers to invest in the Kingdom, and the new international and local events that we are planning,” he said.
The race’s organizing committee said that the date of the 2024 event would need to be changed because it conflicts with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which will fall between March 10 and April 9.
The exact timing of the race will be determined jointly by Formula 1 and the International Automobile Federation and revealed later this year.